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Full text of "Past and present of Clinton County, Michigan : together with biographical sketches of many of its prominent and leading citizens and illustrious dead"

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PAST  AND  PRESENT 


OF 


CLINTON   COUNTY 
MICHIGAN 


BY 


JUDGE   S.    B.    DABOLL 

ASSISTED  BY  D.  W.  KELLEY 


TOGETHER   WITH 


BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES 

OF  MANY  OF  ITS  PROMINENT  AND  LEADING  CITIZENS  AND  ILLUSTRIOUS  DEAD 


ILLUSTRATED 


CHICAGO: 

THE  S.  J.  CLARKE  PUBLISHING  CO. 

1906 


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H>e&icate&  to  tbe 

pioneers 
of  Clinton  County 


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PREFACE. 


THE  publishers  take  pride  in  presenting  this  volume  to  the  public.  The  historical  part  is 
the  work  of  Judge  S.  B.  Daboll,  assisted  by  D.  W.  Kelley.  It  was  the  intention  of 
Judge  Daboll  to  write  the  entire  volume,  but  personal  matters  required  his  attention 
to  such  an  extent  that  he  was  compelled  to  call  to  his  assistance  Mr.  Kelley,  and  no 
reader  of  the  work  but  will  declare  it  well  done. 

The  biographical  part  of  the  work  is  the  compilation  of  well  qualified  men,  those 
long  experienced  in  the  business.  They  have  gone  to  the  people,  the  men  and  women 
who  have,  by  their  enterprise  and  industry,  brought  the  county  to  a  rank  second  to 
none  among  those  comprising  this  great  and  noble  State,  and  from  their  lips  have  the  story  of 
their  life  struggles.  No  more  interesting  or  instructive  matter  could  be  presented  to  an  intelligent 
public.  In  this  volume  will  be  found  a  record  of  many  whose  lives  are  worthy  the  imitation  of 
coming  generations.  It  tells  how  some,  commencing  life  in  poverty,  by  industry  and 
economy  have  accumulated  wealth.  It  tells  how  others,  with  limited  advantages  for  securing 
an  education,  have  become  learned  men  and  women,  with  an  influence  extending  throughout 
the  length  and  breadth  of  the  land.  It  tells  of  men  who  have  risen  from  the  lower  walks  of 
life  to  eminence  as  statesmen,  and  whose  names  have  become  famous.  It  tells  of  those  in 
every  walk  in  life  who  have  striven  to  succeed,  and  records  how  success  has  usually 
crowned  their  efforts.  It  tells  also  of  many,  very  many,  who,  not  seeking  the  applause  of  the 
world,  have  pursued  the  "even  tenor  of  their  way,"  content  to  have  it  said  of  them,  as  Christ 
said  of  the  woman  performing  a  deed  of  mercy  —  "They  have  done  what  they  could."  It 
tells  how  many  in  the  pride  and  strength  of  young  manhood,  left  the  plow  and  the  anvil,  the 
lawyer's  office  and  the  counting-room,  left  every  trade  and  profession,  and  at  their  country's 
call  went  forth  valiantly  "to  do  or  die,"  and  how  through  their  efforts  the  Union  was 
restored  and  peace  once  more  reigned  in  the  land.  In  the  life  of  every  man  and  of  every 
woman  is   a  lesson  that  should  not  be  lost  upon  those  who  follow  after. 

Coming  generations  will  appreciate  this  volume  and  preserve  it  as  a  sacred  treasure,  from 
the  fact  that  it  contains  so  much  that  would  never  find  its  way  into  public  records,  and  which 
would  otherwise  be  inaccessible.  Great  care  has  been  taken  in  the  compilation  of  the  work 
and  every  opportunity  possible  given  to  those  represented  to  insure  correctness  in  what  has 
been  written;  and  the  publishers  flatter  themselves  that  they  give  to  their  readers  a  work  with 
few  errors  of  consequence.  In  addition  to  biographical  sketches,  portraits  of  a  number  of 
representative  citizens  are  given. 

The  faces  of  some,  and  biographical  sketches  of  many,  will  be  missed  in  this  volume. 
For  this  the  publishers  are  not  to  blame.  Not  having  a  proper  conception  of  the  work,  some 
refused  to  give  the  information  necessary  to  compile  a  sketch,  while  others  were  indifferent. 
Occasionally  some  member  of  the  family  would  oppose  the  enterprise,  and  on  account  of  such 
opposition  the  support  of  the  interested  one  would  be  withheld.  In  a  few  instances  men  never 
could  be  found,  though  repeated  calls  were  made  at  their  residence  or  place  of  business. 

January,  1906.  THE  5.  J.  Clarke  Publishing  Co. 

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Biographical. 


PORTER  K.  PERRIN. 

As  the  day  with  its  morning  of  hope  and 
promise,  its  noontide  of  activity,  its  evening  of 
completed  and  successful  effort  ending  in  the 
grateful  rest  and  quiet  of  the  night,  so  was  the 
life  of  Porter  K.  Perrin,  of  St.  Johns.  To  him 
there  came  the  attainment  of  distinguished 
honors  and  successes,  but  it  was  not  his  political 
prominence  nor  his  prosperity  that  gained  him 
the  place  which  he  occupied  in  the  hearts  of  his 
fellowmen,  but  a  character  in  which  the  strong- 
est and  most  commendable  virtues  were  daily 
practiced,  a  spirit  of  loving  helpfulness  and 
kindliness,  and  a  devotion  to  all  that  was  true 
and  noble  in  all  man's  relations  with  his  fellow- 
men.  He  left  behind  him  a  name  that  will  be 
honored  as  long  as  memory  remains  to  those 
with  whom  he  was  associated  in  any  relation. 

A  native  of  Vermont,  Porter  K.  Perrin  was 
torn  in  the  town  of  Berlin,  September  13,  1833, 
and  his  early  common-school  education  was 
supplemented  by  an  academic  course,  subse- 
quent to  which  time  he  entered  the  Law 
University  at  Albany,  New  York,  from  which 
he  was  graduated  in  the  class  of  1857.  He  was 
admitted  to  practice  in  the  courts  of  New  York 
and  Albany  and  in  the  courts  of  Indianapolis, 
Indiana,  removing  to  the  latter  city  in  1858. 
He  also  resided  for  some  time  at  Cincinnati, 
Ohio,  whence  he  came  to  Michigan  in  August, 
i860.  He  was  admitted  to  practice  in  the  courts 
of  this  state  at  St.  Johns  and  in  the  United 
States  courts  at  Detroit.  From  September  13, 
i86t,  until  July  17,   1863,  ne  was  editor  and 


part  owner  of  the  Clinton  Republican.  Hearing 
his  country's  call  for  aid,  he  sold  the  paper  to  its 
former  proprietor,  H.  S.  Hilton,  and  putting 
aside  all  business  and  personal  interests,  re- 
sponded to  the  call,  enlisting  as  a  member  of 
Company  I,  Twenty-seventh  Michigan  Infantry 
upon  its  organization.  This  was  in  1863  and 
he  was  commissioned  first  lieutenant  on  the 
20th  of  December,  with  which  rank  he  was 
mustered  in  on  the  30th  of  December,  1863. 
On  the  29th  of  February,  1864,  ne  was  com- 
missioned captain  of  the  First  Company  of 
Sharpshooters,  being  mustered  in  as  such  on 
the  ist  of  March,  following,  and  on  the  1st  of 
April,  1864,  was  commissioned  major  of  the 
Second  Michigan  Infantry,  thus  serving  until 
honorably  discharged  on  account  of  disability 
November  23,  1864.  The  same  loyalty  which 
was  manifested  in  all  life's  relations  was  dis- 
played by  him  in  his  military  service.  As  a 
citizen  he  was  ever  public-spirited  and  had  the 
welfare  and  improvement  of  county,  state  and 
nation  at  heart. 

Following  his  discharge  Mr.  Perrin  returned 
to  St.  Johns  and  resumed  the  practice  of  law. 
In  the  early  days  of  his  connection  with  the 
Michigan  bar  he  was  known  as  a  trial  lawyer, 
frequently  appearing  before  court  or  jury,  but 
in  later  years  he  retired  from  active  practice  in 
the  courts  to  give  his  attention  to  other,  but  no 
less  important,  departments  of  law  work.  In 
1869  he  was  chosen  probate  judge  of  Clinton 
county  and  filled  the  office  for  four  years.  He 
was  a  wise  counsellor,  thoroughly  versed  in  the 
pinciples     of     jurisprudence.        When     death 


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8 


PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


claimed  him  the  members  of  the  Clinton  county 
bar  met  to  pay  a  last  tribute  of  respect  to  his 
memory  and  speaking  on  this  occasion  E.  H. 
Lyon  said:  "In  the  capacity  of  administrator, 
in  the  handling  of  estates,  and  in  acting  as 
guardian  and  as  trustee  for  minors  and  mentally 
incompetent  persons  and  trustee  of  said  estates, 
I  believe  I  am  fairly  entitled  to  say  that  in  his 
handling  and  care  of  such  matters  no  one  could 
have  done  it  better  nor  could  have  done  it  in  a 
fairer  manner  or  in  a  more  satisfactory  man- 
ner, and  accomplished  better  results  than  the 
deceased.  I  recollect  that  a  little  while  ago  in 
a  trial  that  was  had  in  this  court  and  in  this 
room  before  your  honor  in  the  matter  of  the 
estate  of  Thomas  B.  McKee,  a  mentally  in- 
competent person,  that  the  deceased  was 
brought  into  court  as  a  witness  in  the  case  and 
disclosed  to  the  court,  I  believe,  to  the  astonish- 
ment and  to  the  agreeable  surprise  both  of  the 
court  and  the  counsel  on  both  sides  that  he  took 
that  estate — and  I  speak  of  this  merely  because 
it  is  an  illustration  of  the  kind  of  work  that  he 
was  doing — he  took  that  estate  when  it  consisted 
of  an  old  watch,  an  old  horse,  and  a  cart  that 
was  broken  down,  and  in  a  few  years,  with  the 
aid  of  a  pension  that  the  man  was  receiving,  he 
turned  over  to  him  an  estate  of  upwards  of  two 
thousand  dollars  and  had  procured  for  him  a 
good  substantial  livelihood  covering  the  period , 
The  one  peculiarity  about  it  that  I  recollect,  and 
I  presume  your  Honor  will  recollect,  was  that 
during  that  time  the  charge  for  his  services  in 
looking  after  and  caring-  for  the  man's  estate 
was  almost  nominal,  practically  nominal.  I  only 
speak  of  that  as  one  illustration  of  what  I  be- 
lieve every  attorney  at  this  bar  knows  has  been 
the  frequent  and  constant  habit  of  Mr.  Perriu. 
"During  the  years  that  any  or  all  of  us 
have  known  him  he  has  been  rigidly  economical, 
just  as  careful  of  the  expenditure  and  the 
preservation  of  the  property  of  others  as  he 
would  be  with  his  own,  and  at  the  conclusion  of 
his  practice  it  has  been  the  almost  invariable 
practice  that  he  has  left  the  estate,  the  property, 
the  business  in  his  hands  in  far  better  shape  than 
it  was  when  he  received  it,  and  almost  uni- 
versally his  acts  and  his  actions  in  those  re- 


spects have  been  entirely  satisfactory.  His 
model  has  been  a  good  example.  His  conduct 
toward  other  members  of  the  bar  has  been 
universally  kind."  On  the  same  occasion  John 
G.  Patterson  speaking  of  Mr.  Perrin  said:  "I 
have  known  Mr.  Perrin  practically  all  my  life 
time  and  I  think  I  can  truthfully  say  that  the 
expressions  that  have  been  made  in  regard  to 
him  can  be  vouched  for  by  all.  I  think  through- 
out the  county  of  Clinton  that  there  isn't  a  man 
I  don't  think  there  is  a  man  in  any  profession, 
in  either  the  legal  or  any  other  profession  that 
is  so  commonly  spoken  of  as  being  one  of  the 
best  and  most  honorable  and  truthful  men  of 
this  county.  He  has  practically  been,  you  might 
say,  throughout  this  county  a  man  who  enjoyed 
the  greatest  degree  of  honor  and  respect,  and  it 
has  been  the  general  feeling  throughout  the 
entire  community  that  when  one  sought  counsel 
from  the  Perrins  their  advice  could  be  relied 
upon.  I  have  known  him  a  long  time,  and  I 
can  not  refrain  from  saying  that  he  has  always 
been  one  of  the  foremost  men  of  this  county, 
and  so  far  as  our  profession  is  concerned  I  be- 
lieve he  has  always  reflected  credit  upon  it  as 
a  standard  of  honesty,  integrity  and  fair  deal- 

ing." 

Not  alone  by  reason  of  his  able  legal  services 
was  Mr.  Perrin  widely  and  favorably  known 
for  in  other  departments  of  activity  his  efforts 
were  equally  honorable  and  beneficial.  He  was 
United  States  commissioner  for  about  six  and 
a  half  years  and  in  1877-8  represented  his  dis- 
trict in  the  state  senate.  In  fact  in  the  early 
history  of  Clinton  county  he  was  a  prominent 
figure  in  local  politics,  frequently  taking  the 
stump  in  the  interest  of  his  party.  As  a  public 
speaker  he  was  both  temperate  and  logical,  his 
fairness  and  courteous  treatment  of  an  opponent 
in  debate  winning  him  both  friends  and  votes. 
He  was  one  of  those  who  labored  zealously  for 
the  building  of  the  present  county  courthouse  in 
1870,  when  an  expenditure  of  forty-five 
thousand  dollars  was  looked  upon  as  a  large  sum 
of  money  by  the  residents  of  the  outlying  town- 
ships. Realizing  the  great  need  of  this  public 
improvement,  he  stumped  the  county  at  his  own 
expense  and  was  rewarded  for  his  labor  by  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


9 


necessary  appropriation  being  made.  As  state 
senator  he  was  a  conscientious  member  of  the 
upper  house,  using  his  influence  at  all  times  for 
the  public  good.  Legislation  in  the  interests  of 
corporations,  companies  or  individuals,  if 
drafted  for  the  purpose  of  undue  advantage  or 
private  gain,  he  vigorously  opposed.  He  coun- 
selled against  extravagant  appropriation  of 
money  for  public  officials.  It  was  with  pride 
that  he  spoke  of  the  passage  of  every  bill  of 
which  he  was  the  author,  becoming  a  law. 

Extending  his  efforts  to  other  business  lines 
Porter  K.  Perrin  was  for  twelve  years  the  presi- 
dent of  the  State  Bank  of  St.  Johns  and  for 
five  years  was  president  of  the  Durand  Land 
Company.  To  these  interests  he  brought  keen 
discernment,  sound  judgment  and  an  irreproach- 
able business  integrity  which  ever  character- 
ized him  and  the  success  of  both  corporations 
was  attributable  in  large  measure  to  his  efforts 
and  wise  counsel.  At  a  regular  board  meeting 
of  the  directors  of  the  State  Bank  of  St.  Johns 
held  under  date  of  April  6,  1903,  J.  W.  Fitz- 
gerald offered  the  following  resolutions  upon 
the  death  of  Porter  K.  Perrin,  which  were 
adopted :  "Whereas,  In  the  Providence  of 
Almighty  God,  our  esteemed  fellow  citizen  and 
president  of  the  State  Bank  of  St.  Johns,  Porter 
K.  Perrin  has  been  called  from  this  life  to  life 
eternal,  the  board  of  directors  of  this  bank  in 
common  with  the  grief  stricken  family,  surviv- 
ing relatives  and  friends  and  the  community  at 
large,  where  he  was  so  well  and  favorably 
known  and  respected,  mourn  his  loss.  There- 
fore be  it  resolved  that  in  the  death  of  Porter 
K.  Perrin,  the  wife  has  lost  a  devoted  husband, 
the  family  a  tender  and  indulgent  father,  the 
community  an  honest,  upright  citizen  and  this 
board  an  intelligent  and  capable  official,  genial 
and  pleasant  as  a  presiding  officer,  always 
modest  and  courteous  among  those  with  whom 
he  was  associated  in  this  body,  wearing  all 
honors  that  came  to  him  as  the  bank's  president 
with  becoming  grace,  he  won  our  admiration 
and  commanded  our  respect  by  the  fairness  and 
justness  with  which  he  presided  over  our  de- 
liberations, taking  greater  pleasure  in  bestowing 
praise  upon  others  if  merited  than  wishing  even 


the  faintest  allusion  of  a  compliment  for  himself. 
Conservative  and  methodical  in  all  things, 
charitable  toward  associates  for  all  errors  and 
missteps,  he  never  forgot  that  to  err  is  hu- 
man, while  forgiveness  is  a  divine  attribute — 
a  beacon  light  from  God  to  man.  As  a  financier 
his  heart  and  brain  was  in  his  work  and  the 
State  Bank  of  St.  Johns,  of  which  he  was  presi- 
dent for  so  many  years,  was  his  watchful  solici- 
tude and  pride.  Gone  in  the  fullness  of  his 
manhood,  in  the  strength  of  his  usefulness,  in 
the  day  of  his  best  judgment  and  ripest  thought, 
his  dearest  solicitude  the  family  he  loved,  ac- 
knowledging always  his  fellowman  his  friend, 
he  lived  in  the  sunlight  of  God  a  clean,  upright, 
honorable  life  without  blemish  or  stain.  As  an 
evidence  of  his  kindly  feeling  toward  the  mem- 
bers of  this  board  but  a  few  hours  before  the 
death  summons  came,  just  as  he  was  nearing 
life's  close,  but  a  step  from  the  home  and  loved 
ones  on  this  side  into  the  great  unknown  be- 
yond, he  signified  a  wish  that  his  earthly  re- 
mains be  borne  to  their  final  resting  place  by 
his  old  associates  in  the  bank.  A  good  man  has 
gone  from  among  us.  Let  us  cherish  his  mem- 
ory and  endeavor  to  profit  by  the  lessons  he 
taught  us  while  living — patience,  forbearance, 
fortitude  and  faith. 

"Resolved,  that  these  resolutions  be  spread 
upon  the  record  book  of  the  bank,  and  that  a 
copy  suitably  engrossed  be  forwarded  to  the 
family." 

While  Porter  K.  Perrin  won  honors  in  politi- 
cal life,  success  in  business  and  esteem  at  all 
times  and  under  all  relations,  his  best  traits  of 
character  were  reserved  for  his  family.  He  was 
pre-eminently  a  man  of  domestic  tastes  and  the 
relations  of  his  home  life  were  largely  ideal. 
On  the  2d  of  August,  1866,  he  was  united  in 
marriage,  in  Olivet,  Michigan,  to  Miss  Ella  M. 
Sessions,  a  daughter  of  the  Rev.  Samuel  Ses- 
sions, at  that  time  a  resident  of  Olivet.  Five 
children  were  born  unto  them,  three  of  whom 
reached  adult  age :  Archer  Merle  Perrin,  the 
eldest,  now  of  Detroit;  Inez  C.  Perrin,  who  was 
married  April  30,  1902,  to  Lieutenant  Willis 
B.  Day,  of  the  United  States  Navy;  and  Vive 
Bird  Perrin,  of  Detroit.    In  1895  he  took  up  his 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


residence  in  Detroit  but  maintained  his  business 
connections  with  St.  Johns.  He  died  in  the 
former  city  on  the  20th  of  March,  1903,  at  the 
age  of  sixty-nine  years,  and  his  remains  were 
interred  in  the  cemetery  at  St.  Johns,  where  the 
funeral  services  were  held. 

In  a  review  of  the  life  record  of  Mr.  Perrin 
it  is  noticeable  that  there  are  many  elements  of 
his  life  that  stand  forth  as  distinguishing  char- 
acteristics— those  which  constitute  the  real  char- 
acter of  the  man.  In  the  history  of  one  who  has 
been  an  active  factor  in  general  affairs  we  are 
apt  to  consider  most  his  business  career.  Judged 
in  this  light  Mr.  Perrin  was  a  success,  advanc- 
ing from  comparative  obscurity  to  an  eminent 
place  as  a  lawyer,  legislator  and  financier,  but 
he  regarded  business  not  as  an  ultimate  object 
but  merely  as  a  means  to  an  end — the  avenue 
which  "enabled  him  to  do  service  to  his  fellow- 
men.  Incident  after  incident  could  be  cited  of 
his  unselfish  purpose  and  helpful  spirit  in  his 
business  life,  and  at  all  times  he  manifested  due 
and  conscientious  regard  for  his  obligations  to 
those  with  whom  he  was  brought  in  contact.  In 
the  church  he  was  a  helpful  factor  and  in  his  life 
exemplified  the  true  Christian  spirit.  He  stood 
firm  in  support  of  whatever  he  believed  to  be 
right  and  he  had  a  deep  and  abiding  charity  for 
others  and  was  ever  willing  to  extend  a  helping 
hand  to  those  who  needed  moral  assistance  or 
material  aid.  The  people  who  knewT  him  enter- 
tained for  him  the  warmest  respect.  There  were 
possibly  mistakes  in  his  life — for  what  life  is 
free  from  such — but  they  were  matters  of  judg- 
ment rather  than  of  the  heart.  He  used  his 
talents  wrisely  and  wrell  and  it  may  be  said  of 
him  as  it  was  of  another 

"His  life  was  gentle,  and  the  elements 
So  mixed  in  him,  that  nature  might  stand  up 
And  say  to  all  the  world,  this  was  a  man." 


HENRY  MARTYN  PERRIN. 

Henry  Martyn  Perrin,  valuing  his  own  self- 
respect  and  the  merited  esteem  of  his  fellow 
men  more  than  wealth,  fame  or  position,  shaped 


his  course  in  harmony  writh  the  principles  which 
govern  the  good  and  therefore  truly  great  man 
and  as  the  years  passed  in  a  conscientious  at- 
tempt to  do  right  by  his  fellowmen  under  all 
circumstances  he  also  found  that  the  words  of 
the  teacher  of  old  were  words  of  truth :  "Seek 
first  the  kingxlom  of  heaven  and  its  righteous- 
ness and  all  these  things  shall  be  added  unto 
you,"  for  as  the  years  passed  honors  came  to 
him  and  also  a  fair  share  of  riches  and  there  was 
no  man  held  in  higher  regard  in  St.  Johns  nor 
Clinton  county  than  Henry  Martyn  Perrin. 

He  was  a  native  of  Berlin,  Vermont,  born  on 
the  23d  of  June,  1829,  a  son  of  Porter  and 
Lucy  (Kinney)  Perrin.  His  paternal  grand- 
father, after  having  sold  his  farm  in  Connecti- 
cut, removed  to  Vermont  about  one  hundred 
and  sixteen  years  ago.  He  took  his  pay  for  the 
farm  in  tea,  for  money  and  banks  were  very 
uncertain  at  that  time  and  with  that  product  he 
went  to  Berlin,  where  he  traded  his  tea  for 
seven  hundred  acres  of  land,  of  which  he  re- 
tained possession  until  his  children  were  settled 
all  around  him  upon  farms  which  were  once  a 
part  of  the  original  tract.  When  he  wrent  to 
Vermont  the  country  was  wild  and  unimproved. 
Porter  Perrin  was  the  first  white  boy  born  in 
the  home  township  and  one  of  his  sisters  was 
the  mother  of  Admiral  Dewey.  The  Kinney 
family  was  also  established  in  Plainfield  town- 
ship at  a  very  early  day — now  more  than  a  cen- 
tury ago. 

Henry  M.  Perrin  was  reared  at  the  old  home 
in  the  Green  Mountain  state.  He  learned  his 
letters  when  three  years  of  age,  thus  early 
manifesting  that  ability  to  readily  acquire 
knowledge,  which  was  one  of  his  strong  and 
salient  characteristics  through  his  entire  life. 
In  his  youth  he  was  full  of  fun  and  in  his  early 
school  days  was  usually  at  the  foot  of  the  class 
but  he  possessed  a  strong  will  and  one  day 
formed  the  determination  to  stand  at  the  head 
of  the  class.  Thus  calling  forth  his  latent  pow- 
ers and  energies  he  soon  made  his  way  to  a  fore- 
most position  in  the  school  and  always  main- 
tained that  place.  He  was  not  only  noted  for 
his  scholastic  ability  but  also  for  his  honesty. 
On  one  day,  being  importuned  to  do  something 


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which  he  regarded  as  not  strictly  honorable  he 
replied  that  he  would  do  nothing  of  the  kind, 
whereon  a  fellow  schoolmate  said,  "Henry  is 
always  so  durned  honest,  we  never  can  do  any- 
thing." Again  was  manifested  what  was  ever 
one  of  his  strong  traits  of  character.  Having 
mastered  the  elementary  branches  of  learning 
he  continued  his  studies  in  Thetford  Academy, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  about  1850  and 
during  that  time  completed  the  first  year's  work 
of  a  college  course,  so  that  when  he  entered 
Dartmouth  College  he  became  a  sophomore. 
Having  completed  his  collegiate  course  he  next 
entered  the  Albany  Law  College,  from  which 
he  was  in  due  course  of  time  graduated  but  he 
left  that  institution  with  impaired  health. 
Thinking  to  be  benefited  by  a  change  of  climate 
he  went  to  Terre  Haute,  Indiana,  where  he  was 
admitted  to  the  bar,  but  his  health  remained 
poor  nor  did  he  like  the  state  and  these  reasons 
led  him  to  come  to  Michigan.  He  remained  in 
or  near  Detroit  until  1857  ancl  then  took  up  his 
abode  in  St.  Johns,  declaring  upon  his  arrival, 
"Here  I  am  going  to  live  and  die,"  and  this  he 
did,  spending  his  remaining  days  in  Clinton 
county.  He  entered  at  once  upon  the  active 
practice  of  his  profession  and  his  career  at  the 
bar  has  become  a  part  of  the  history  of  the 
courts  of  Clinton  county  and  of  Michigan.  He 
was  an  able  lawyer  with  profound  knowledge 
of  legal  principles  and  was  always  correct  in 
his  application  to  the  points  in  litigation.  He 
never  would  take  the  side  of  a  criminal  if  he 
knew  him  to  be  such.  He  had  teen  a  resident 
of  the  county  for  only  a  few  years  when  he 
was  chosen  and  served  as  probate  judge  and 
later  he  was  elected  to  the  state  senate,  enter- 
ing upon  the  duties  of  that  office  on  the  1st 
of  January,  1865.  Jn  politics  he  was  a  re- 
publican somewhat  independent  in  his  views. 
In  keeping  with  the  character  of  the  man  he 
was  always  loyal  to  his  honest  convictions  in 
political  as  well  as  in  other  relations  of  life  and 
he  was  fearless  in  his  championship  of  any 
cause  which  he  espoused.  He  was,  however, 
not  aggressive  but  labored  with  a  quiet  per- 
sistency of  purpose  that  awakened  the  respect- 
ful attention  of  others  and  often  won  converts 


to  his  way  of  thinking.  He  held  membership 
in  the  Congregational  church  and  in  his  college 
days  was  a  member  of  the  Alpha  Delta  Phi 
but  otherwise  was  connected  with  no  fraternal 
organizations. 

On  the  1st  of  May,  1862,  Mr.  Perrin  was 
united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Mary  Ackley.  They 
had  two  daughters.  Lucy  Evalina,  who  was 
born  August  26,  1863,  w^s  married,  October 
26,  1887,  to  Dr.  Henry  Palmer  and  they  have 
one  child,  Ruth  E.  Palmer,  born  January  18, 
1889.  The  second  daughter,  Ella  Luella  Per- 
rin, was  born  August  7,  1866,  and  was  killed 
in  a  railroad  wreck  August  10,  1889. 

Mr.  Perrin  passed  away  January  7,  1896, 
and  perhaps  no  better  testimonial  of  the  life 
work  and  character  of  this  worthy  man  can  be 
given  than  in  inserting  here  the  resolutions  of 
the  bar  and  of  the  board  of  supervisors  of  which 
he  was  a  member  at  the  time  of  his  demise. 
The  former  read  as  follows,  "Resolved,  that  in 
the  departure  of  our  brother  we  are  reminded 
of  the  uncertainty  of  life  and  the  certainty  of 
death  that  cometh  to  us  all.  It  may  be  in  the 
morning  of  our  aspirations,  hopes  and  antici- 
pations, at  noon  day,  or  at  evening  tide  at  the 
close  of  a  long  life.  But,  if  we  can,  as  we  near 
the  portals  of  death,  feel  that  our  work,  like 
that  of  our  departed  brother,  has  been  of  that 
character  which  has  been  dictated  by  truth, 
justice  and  honor,  we  shall  be  enabled  to  leave 
a  name,  as  our  brother  has,  that  shall  commend 
the  respect  of  all  who  had  known  us  in  life. 

"In  the  death  of  our  brother  we  feel  that  the 
bar  has  lost  a  congenial,  kind,  social,  true  and 
an  honorable  member,  whose  upright  character 
and  firm  adherence  to  what  he  considered  to 
be  the  right  is  worthy  of  imitation. 

"That  this  community,  in  the  death  of  our 
brother  has  lost  a  good,  useful,  liberal  and  pub- 
lic-spirited man;  that  his  life  in  our  midst  has 
manifested  that  he  possessed  that  sterling  char- 
acter worthy  of  his  New  England  ancestry. 

"We  tender  to  the  family  of  the  deceased  in 
their  deep  grief  and  great  sorrow  for  the  loss 
of  a  most  faithful  and  loving  husband,  and  an 
ever  kind  and  indulgent  parent,  our  sincere 
sympathy  and  condolence." 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


The  resolutions  of  the  board  of  supervisors 
read,  "Whereas,  It  has  pleased  Divine  Provi- 
dence to  take  from  our  midst  the  Hon.  Henry 
M.  Perrin,  a  former  member  of  the  board  of 
supervisors  of  this  county;  therefore,  we,  the 
members  of  the  present  board  assembled  at  the 
courthouse,  at  St.  Johns,  hereby  express  our 
sorrow  at  the  death  of  our  distinguished  fellow 
citizen  and  extend  our  sympathy  and  con- 
dolence to  the  bereaved  family; 

"Whereas,  The  deceased  during  his  residence 
in  this  county  since  1857  has  held  many  posi- 
tions of  trust,  honor  and  responsibility  and  hav- 
ing discharged  the  duties  devolved  upon  him 
with  marked  fidelity  and  strictest  honesty,  and 

"Whereas,  As  Judge  of  Probate  and  guard- 
ian of  many  infant  wards,  he  was  ever  zealous 
in  protecting  the  rights  of  those  under  his 
charge,  defending  them  against  imposition  and 

wrong; 

"Whereas,  As  State  Senator  he  legislated  for 
the  interest  of  the  people  and  not  for  any  class. 
As  a  lawyer  he  was  honest,  upright  and  above 
reproach,  always  a  safe  counselor ; 

"Whereas,  During  his  long  business  career, 
he  was  intrusted  with  millions  of  other  peo- 
ple's money  and  having  conducted  his  business 
relations  with  his  clients  with  such  scrupulous 
care  and  exactness  that  he  was  never  suspected 
or  charged  with  misappropriating  a  single 
penny.  As  a  man  he  was  respected  and  beloved 
by  all  who  knew  him,  and  in  his  death  our 
county  suffers  the  loss  of  one  of  its  best  citi- 
zens and  the  community  in  which  he  resided,  an 
irreparable  loss.     Now,  therefore,  be  it 

"Resolved,  That  the  county  clerk  be  and  is 
hereby  instructed  to  cause  the  flag  to  be  placed 
at  half  mast  upon  the  courthouse,  there  to  re- 
main until  after  the  funeral  of  Mr.  Perrin." 

The  funeral  services  for  Mr.  Perrin  were 
held  in  the  Methodist  church  and  were  con- 
ducted by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Butler,  who  said,  "The 
duty  of  the  minister  is  not  very  far  to  seek,  nor 
is  it  very  hard  when  he  is  called  upon  to  speak 
at  such  a  last  gathering  as  this. 

"He  need  not  be  anxious  lest  his  words  of 
sorrow  at  the  loss  shall  be  altogether  too  large 
for  the  occasion,  or  his  words  of  hope  be  quite 


too  confident  to  match  the  character  which  he 
portrays.  He  will  not  see  an  ill  concealed  in- 
credulity in  the  faces  of  those  who  look  at 
him,  if  he  is  betrayed  by  the  largeness  of  his 
own  sense  of  loss  into  an  expression  of  the 
deepest  sorrow  that  the  last  word  has  been 
spoken,  and  the  last  hand  clasp  been  given.  He 
will  not  need  to  search  long  to  find  something 
good  to  say,  or  walk  with  care  lest  he  may 
stumble  in  ignorance  on  that  which  had  best  be 
wholly  and  forever  concealed. 

"The  central  word  which  I  shall  speak,  a 
score  of  men  have  already  spoken  to  me  upon 
the  street,  and  this  great  company  are  already 
anticipating  in  their  silent  hearts.  'A  good 
man  is  gone.'  I  can  not  tell  you  how  many 
times  I  have  heard  the  words.  Never,  among 
all  the  funerals  at  which  I  have  been  asked  to 
speak  becoming  words,  have  I  heard  more  fre- 
quently, or  with  more  heart,  that  judgment  ex- 
pressed. And  it  has  been  with  no  measure  of 
doubt,  that  I  have  waited  for  this  hour  and  no 
anxietv,  that  I  have  turned  to  God's  holy  word 
to  find  there  the  lesson  which  might  be  most 
becoming  to  the  hour. 

"I  find  it  written  in  large  and  easy  terms  by 
one  who  knew  all  the  joy,  and  all  the  honor, 
and  all  the  enterprise,  which  a  busy  life,  a  busy 
city,  a  busy  nation,  or  a  busy  world  could  give 
to  one.     I  find  it  written  by  one  who  had  choice 
of  all  the  paths  which  will  ever  open  to  one, 
given  to  him  when  he  was  a  young  man,  and 
who  deliberately  chose  the  right  when  he  was 
young,  who  pursued  the  right  when  he  was  ma- 
tured, and  who  gives,  toward  the  close  of  his 
busy  life,  an  opinion  as  to  what  is  worth  the 
most,   when   one   stands   toward   the   end   and 
looks  back  to  see  what  life  enfolds,  and  what 
are  after  all,  its  choicest  gains,  and  this  is  what 
he  says,  "A  good  name  is  rather  to  be  chosen 
than  great  riches,  and  loving  favor  rather  than 
silver  and  gold/'     *     *     *     When  the  issue 
came,  as  come  it  frequently  does  to  every  man, 
whether   in   large   business   or   little   business, 
whether  in  the  pulpit  or  on  the  farm,  the  store 
or  the  street,  when  he  must  decide  between  the 
dollar  meanly  gained  and  the  good  name  for 
which  the   dollar  had  to  be  paid,   you  know 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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which  he  chose.  When  it  was  a  little  more 
money  in  the  hand,  or  a  little  more  mercy  in 
the  act,  you  know  which  he  preferred.  When 
it  was  a  little  more  to  count  and  leave,  or  a  lit- 
tle more  to  be  left  in  some  poor  man's  home;  a 
finer  carpet  on  his  floor,  or  a  carpet  of  some  sort 
on  some  poor  widow's  floor;  when  it  was  a 
higher  place,  bought  by  a  deed  which  could  not 
bear  the  light,  or  a  clearer  conscience,  procured 
by  submission  to  God's  unchanging  law  of 
right,  you  know  which  he  chose  *  *  *I  know 
the  skies  under  which  this  man's  childhood  be- 
gan. I  know  the  granite  hills  which  stand  as 
the  mountains  around  Jerusalem  around  his 
boyhood  home.  I  know  the  river  beside  which 
his  college  life  was  passed  and  the  great  hills 
on  the  one  side  of  its  valley  and  the  granite  on 
the  other  side. 

"I  know  the  influences  surrounding  a  pious 
New  England  home  of  those  days,  I  know  the 
stately  hymns  they  used  to  sing,  and  the  sturdy 
beliefs  inculcated  by  a  father  and  a  mother  of 
his  boyhood  day.  The  rock  without  was  ex- 
pression of  the  rock  within ;  the  honest  grandeur 
of  the  hills,  if  it  was  allowed  to  do  its  work, 
made  grandeur  in  the  soul.  He  was  with  ac- 
cord in  his  beginnings.  He  was  a  straight, 
honest  product  of  the  influences  into  which  his 
early  life  was  cast,  and  ever  since  one  night 
about  two  years  ago,  when  he  met  me  at  the 
station  and  took  me  to  his  home  and  we  learned 
that  each  had  opened  his  baby  eyes  on  the  same 
skies  and  learned  among  our  first  the  familiar 
names  of  the  green  hills,  I  have  said  what  you 
have  said,  what  I  leave  with  you  as  my  last 
word,  because  it  is  the  noblest  word,  "He  was 
a  good  man." 


HON.   E.   V.   CHASE. 

Hon.  E.  V.  Chase  is  one  of  the  representa- 
tive citizens  of  Clinton  county,  who  for  many 
years  was  engaged  in  the  practice  of  medicine 
and  for  a  long  period  has  been  engaged  in  the 
drug  business  at  Elsie.  He  has  also  figured 
prominently  in  political  circles  and  has  repre- 
sented  his    district   in   the     state    legislature. 


More  than  a  half  century  has  passed  since  he 
arrived  in  this  state,  for  he  took  up  his  abode 
in  Michigan  in  1851.  Not  long  afterward  he 
became  a  pioneer  physician  of  Clinton  county, 
arriving  here  in  1857. 

Dr.  Chase  is  a  native  of  Ohio,  his  birth  hav- 
ing occurred  in  Trumbull  county  on  the  16th 
of  September,  1833.  His  father,  John  S. 
Chase,  was  born  near  Lake  George,  New  York, 
and  was  a  son  of  the  Rev.  Chase,  a  minister 
of  the  Baptist  church.  John  S.  Chase  was 
reared  to  manhood  in  the  Empire  state  and 
when  a  young  man  went  to  Ohio,  where  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Cornelia  Lenora  Beach,  who 
was  born  and  reared  in  Ohio.  Mr.  Chase  was 
a  wheelwright  by  trade  and  followed  that  busi- 
ness in  early  life.  The  year  185 1  witnessed  his 
arrival  in  Michigan,  at  which  time  he  located 
in  Shiawassee  county,  securing  a  tract  of  land 
in  the  town  of  Owosso.  There  he  cleared  and 
improved  a  farm,  which  he  afterward  sold  and 
removed  to  Elsie,  where  he  purchased  a  saw- 
mill and  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  lum- 
ber, spending  his  last  years  here,  his  death  oc- 
curring about  1878.  His  wife  survived  him 
for  a  number  of  years  and  passed  away  in 
1905,  at  the  ripe  old  age  of  ninety  years. 

Dr.  Chase  came  to  Michigan  with  his  par- 
ents when  a  young  man  of  about  eighteen  years 
and  assisted  in  clearing  up  and  developing  the 
home  farm.  Subsequently,  however,  he  re- 
turned to  Ohio,  where  he  studied  medicine. 
He  pursued  his  first  course  of  lectures  at  Mich- 
igan University  at  Ann  Arbor,  but  put  aside  his 
text-books  at  the  breaking  out  of  the  Civil  war 
and  responded  to  the  country's  call  for  troops, 
enlisting  on  the  10th  of  August,  1861,  as  a 
member  of  Company  D,  First  Michigan  Cav- 
alry. He  was  promoted  from  the  ranks  to 
the  position  of  second  lieutenant  and  later 
first  lieutenant.  He  was  then  assigned  to 
Company  F,  but  subsequently  was  transferred  to 
Company  M.  Going  to  the  east  he  served  with 
the  Army  of  the  Potomac  under  General  Cus- 
ter and  participated  in  a  number  of  important 
engagements  and  also  in  the  grand  review  in 
Washington,  D.  C.  On  the  same  day  he  was 
ordered  to  Parkersburg,  West  Virginia,  thence 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


to  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  and  afterward  to  Fort 
Leavenworth,  Kansas.  At  the  last  named 
place  he  received  orders  to  cross  the  plains  and 
went  west  to  Fort  Bridger,  where  the  troops 
went  into  winter  quarters.  On  the  ioth  of 
..  March,  1866,  he  was  mustered  out  there  and 
was  honorably  discharged,  after  which  he  re- 
turned home,  paying  his  own  transportation, 
for  the  government  did  not  meet  the  expenses 
of  the  journey,  although  he  was  more  than  two 
thousand  miles  away  from  home  on  military 

duty. 

When  he  again  reached  Elsie  Dr.  Chase  took 
up  the  practice  of  medicine  and  secured  an  en- 
viable business,  his  professional  service  being 
in  demand  for  miles  around.  He  thus  con- 
tinued in  close  connection  with  the  practice  of 
medicine  and  surgery  until  1880,  when  he  es- 
tablished the  drug  business  that  he  has  now- 
conducted  for  a  quarter  of  a  century.  He  has 
a  well  equipped  store  and  is  one  of  the  enter- 
prising merchants  of  his  town. 

On  the  30th  of  August,  1857,  in  Owosso, 
Dr.  Chase  was  married  to  Miss  Emily  J.  Wil- 
kinson, a  native  of  Michigan,  who  was  born 
and  reared  in  Owosso.  There  were  two  chil- 
dren bv  that  union' but  only  one  is  living,  Ma- 
bel, the  wife  of  B.  N.  Wooley,  of  Elsie.  An- 
other daughter,  Ellen,  reached  womanhood, 
gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to  Harvey  Allen  and 
afterward  died,  leaving  two  sons,  of  whom  E. 
V.  Allen  grew  to  manhood,  married  and  now 
resides  in  California,  while  Ross  A.  Allen  is 
living  in  Idaho.  Mrs.  Wooley  has  two  chil- 
dren, Margaret  and  Helen. 

Dr.  Chase  has  been  a  lifelong  republican 
and  an  earnest  worker  in  the  party,  his  efforts 
being  effective  in  behalf  of  republican  progress 
and  success.  He  was  elected  and  served  as  su- 
pervisor of  Duplain  township,  has  also  been 
township  clerk,  village  clerk  and  president  of 
the  village  board.  In  1876  he  was  elected  to 
represent  Clinton  county  in  the  state  legisla- 
ture, where  he  served  so  acceptably  that  in 
1878  he  was  re-elected.  He  proved  one  of  the 
active  working  members  of  that  body,  being 
connected  with  much  important  constructive 
legislation.     He  served  on  the  committee  on 


public  health  and  numerous  other  committees 
and  discharged  his  duties  with  honorable  dis- 
tinction.    He  has  been  a  delegate  to  numerous 
county    and   state   conventions    and   no   trust 
reposed  in  him  has  ever  been  betrayed.     Dr. 
Chase  is  a  member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity, 
in  which  he  has  taken  the  Master  degree.     His 
residence  in  this  county  covers  almost  half  a 
century  and  he  is  one  of  the  few  remaining 
old  settlers  and  Civil  war  veterans.     He  has 
lived  a  useful  and  honorable  life  and  merits  the 
confidence  and  esteem  so  uniformly  accorded 
him.     His  work  has  been  in  a  large  measure 
beneficial  to  his  fellowmen  as  well  as  to  him- 
self and  whatever  success  he  has  achieved  is 
due   entirely   to   his  own   labors,   proving  the 
force  and  value  of  effective  and  earnest  effort 
in  active  affairs  of  life. 


GALUSHA  PENNELL. 

Galusha   Pennell,    whose   record   in  business 
and  official  circles  entitles  him  to  representation 
with  the  leading  citizens  of  St.  Johns  and  Clin- 
ton  county,    was   born   in   Ridgeway,    Orleans 
county,  New  York,  January  6,  1845,  his  parents 
being   Orrin   G.   and  Lorana   (Davis)    Pennell, 
both  of  whom  were  natives  of  the  Empire  state, 
the  former  having  been  born  in  Cortland  county 
and  the  latter  in  Chautauqua  county.     The  pa- 
ternal   grandfather,  Dr.    Ezra    Pennell,    was    a 
physician  of  Ridgeway,  New  York,  where  he 
practiced  for  many  years.     The  father  came  to 
Michigan  in  1861,  establishing  his  home  near 
Ann  Arbor,  where  he  secured  a  tract  of  land, 
carrying    on    farming.     Subsequently    he    sold 
that  property  and  removed  to  a  farm  near  De- 
witt,  Clinton  county,  taking  up  his  abode  there 
in   1868,   and  making  his  home  thereon  until 
his  death,  which  occurred  in  1899,  when  he  had 
reached  the  advanced  age  of  seventy-eight  years. 
He  had  been  married  in  Orleans  county,  New 
York,  to  Miss  Lorana  Davis,  who  passed  away 
in  1890,  at  the  age  of  sixty-eight  years.     Mr. 
Pennell  was  active  in  political  circles,  served  as 
supervisor  of  his  township  and  also  represented 


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GALUSHA  PENNELL. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


his  district  in  the  state  senate.  He  was  a  man 
of  strong  intellectuality  and  of  keen  discern- 
ment, successful  in  his  business  affairs  and 
wielding  a  wide  influence  in  public  thought  and 
action.  Moreover  his  course  was  ever  actuated 
by  a  devotion  to  the  general  good  and  his 
service  in  office  was  therefore  valuable.  Unto 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Orrin  G.  Pennell  were  born  three 
sons:  Galusha;  Edward,  who  is  living  in  Ionia, 
Michigan;  and  Mark,  who  resides  upon  the 
homestead  farm  near  Dewitt. 

Galusha  Pennell,  educated  in  the  common 
schools  of  Orleans  county,  further  continued  his 
studies  in  the  University  of  Michigan,  where  he 
completed  the  literary  course  and  was  gradu- 
ated with  the  class  of  1868,  He  then  returned 
to  the  home  farm,  whereon  he  had  been  reared, 
and  devoted  his  energies  to  agricultural  pursuits 
until  called  to  public  office,  being  elected  on  the 
democratic  ticket  to  the  office  of  sheriff  of  Clin- 
ton county  in  1874.  He  served  in  that  position 
for  four  years  and  his  course  was  commended 
by  all  law-abiding  citizens.  During  that  period 
he  accepted  a  cashiership  in  the  First  National 
Bank  of  St.  Johns,  retaining  the  office  for 
twelve  years,  and  he  has  since  been  financially 
interested  in  the  bank.  From  1886  until  1890, 
however,  he  was  again  in  public  office,  filling 
the  position  of  United  States  marshal  under 
President  Cleveland,  with  headquarters  at  De- 
troit. Throughout  this  period,  however,  he  re- 
tained his  interest  in  the  bank  and  is  now  vice 
president  of  the  institution.  This  bank  has  a 
splendid  history,  being  justly  regarded  as  a 
solid,  reliable  financial  concern,  and  Mr.  Pen- 
nell has  contributed  in  no  small  degree  to  this 
record.  He  also  figured  in  banking  circles  on 
the  Pacific  coast,  having  for  two  years  been 
cashier  of  the  Lagrande  National  Bank,  in  La- 
grande,  Oregon,  following  his  retirement  from 
office  of  United  States  marshal.  He  has  made 
a  number  of  trips  to  the  coast,  being  familiar 
with  the  western  country,  its  business  possibili- 
ties and  its  attractive  scenic  features. 

In  December,  1879,  Mr.  Pennell  was  united 
in  marriage  to  Miss  Lydia  Brinkerhoff,  of  De- 
witt, a  daughter  of  Dewitt  and  Juliette  Brink- 
erhoff.    Mr.  Pennell  is  one  of  the  popular  and 


19 

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prominent  citizens  of  St.  Johns  and  is  regarded 
as  one  of  its  most  substantial  representatives. 
He  is  a  man  of  large  stature,  of  social  temper- 
ament, kindly  manner  and  considerate  disposi- 
tion and  the  circle  of  his  friends  is  constantly 
increasing  as  the  circle  of  his  acquaintance  is 
extended.  He  is  very  prominent  in  Masonry, 
having  attained  the  thirty-second  degree  of  the 
Scottish  Rite  in  the  consistory  of  Detroit.  He 
is  also  a  member  of  the  Mystic  Shrine  and  is 
connected  with  all  of  the  local  Masonic  bodies, 
while  for  several  terms  he  was  eminent  com- 
mander of  the  Knight  Templars  in  St.  Johns. 


SAMUEL  CUSHMAN. 

Samuel  Cushman  is  one  of  the  active  business 
men  of  Bath,  where  he  is  engaged  in  dealing 
in  grain  and  wool  in  connection  with  his  son, 
R.  E.  Cushman,  under  the  firm  style  of  Cush- 
man &  Son.  He  was  born  in  Dewitt  town- 
ship, Clinton  county,  October  18,  1852.  His 
father,  George  Cushman,  was  a  prominent  agri- 
culturist of  this  township,  casting  in  his  lot 
with  the  early  settlers  of  the  county  when  it 
presented  a  very  different  appearance  from  the 
present  day,  being  largely  covered  with  the 
native  forests  which  sheltered  various  kinds  of 
wild  game.  Only  here  and  there  a  clearing 
had  been  made  and  a  little  cabin  erected  to 
show  that  the  work  of  civilization  had  been  in- 
stituted. In  this  county  George  Cushman  was 
married  to  Ellen  Smith,  a  daughter  of  Samuel 
B.  Smith,  likewise  a  pioneer  resident  of  the 
county,  coming  to  Michigan  from  New  York. 

Samuel  Cushman  was  reared  upon  his 
father's  farm  and  aided  in  the  work  of  the 
home  place  until  twenty-six  years  of  age.  He 
was  then  married  in  the  city  of  Lansing  in 
August,  1879,  to  Miss  Lizzie  Everett,  a  native 
of  Michigan,  who  was  born  in  Ypsilanti  and 
was  reared  and  educated  there.  She  is  a  gradu- 
ate of  the  State  Normal  School  and  for  several 
years  prior  to  her  marriage  capably  and  suc- 
cessfully followed  the  profession  of  teaching. 
The  young  couple  began  their  domestic  life  on 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


a  farm  in  Bath  township,  where  they  remained 
for  several  years.  Mr. .  Cushman  began  there 
with  fifty-one  acres  of  land  and  on  selling  that 
property  he  removed  to  Bath,  where  he  turned 
his  attention  to  the  purchase  and  sale  of  grain 
and  wool.  He  has  now  been  in  active  business 
here  for  the  past  fifteen  years  and  is  one  of  the 
most  progressive  business  men  of  the  town. 
He  has  built  a  large  new  elevator  and  ware- 
house at  the  Michigan  Central  tracks  and  there 
conducts  his  business,  his  interests  furnishing 
an  excellent  market  for  the  agriculturists  and 
sheep  raisers  of  the  locality. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cushman  were  born  two 
children,  R.  E,  and  Belle.  The  son,  who  is 
now  in  partnership  with  his  father,  acquired  his 
early  education  in  the  schools  of  Bath  and  after- 
ward attended  the  Jackson  Commercial  College, 
of  which  he  is  a  graduate  of  the  class  of  1902. 
A  young  man  of  exemplary  habits,  of  good 
business  ability  and  keen  discernment,  he  is  a 
most  capable  assistant  to  his  father.  The  daugh- 
ter is  engaged  in  teaching  in  this  county. 

A  lifelong  republican,  Mr.  Cushman  has 
never  sought  or  desired  office  but  was  appointed 
and  served  as  deputy  sheriff  for  a  number  of 
years.  Having  spent  his  entire  life  in  this 
county,  covering  a  period  of  fifty-two  years,  he 
has  witnessed  much  of  its  growth  and  develop- 
ment and  has  rejoiced  in  what  has  been  accom- 
plished as  the  region  has  been  reclaimed  for  the 
purposes  of  civilization  and  has  taken  on  all  of 
the  improvements,  conveniences  and  equipments 
known  to  the  older  and  more  thickly  settled  east. 
His  business  integrity  and  worth  are  matters 
above  question  and  he  enjoys  the  unqualified 
confidence  and  esteem  of  the  community. 


JOHN  HICKS. 


John  Hicks,  who  at  the  time  of  his  death 
was  the  oldest  merchant  in  the  dry-goods  busi- 
ness in  St.  Johns  and  the  president  of  the  St. 
Johns  National  Bank,  belonged  to  that  class  of 
representative  American  men  who  while  pro- 
moting individual  success  also  advance  the  gen- 


eral welfare.  He  contributed  in  large  meas- 
ure to  the  commercial  prosperity,  the  upbuild- 
ing and  the  progress  of  his  adopted  city,  main- 
taining throughout  a  course  of  action  which 
made  his  name  an  honored  one.  He  was  born 
in  Kingston,  West  Ontario,  Canada,  July  7, 
1824.  His  father,  Samuel  Hicks,  was  a  na- 
tive of  New  Jersey,  and  the  grandfather,  John 
Hicks,  Sr.,  was  an  Englishman  and  sea  cap- 
tain who  made  voyages  to  the  East  Indies. 
Eventually  he  located  in  New  Jersey  where  his- 
last  days  were  passed. 

Samuel  Hicks,  also  a  sailor,  was  for  years  a 
captain  on  the  Great  Lakes  and  while  thus, 
engaged  made  his  headquarters  at  Toronto. 
For  years  he  had  a  contract  for  carrying  mail, 
between  that  city  and  Kingston.  He  after- 
ward made  his  home  at  St.  Joseph,  Michigan, 
and  was  captain  of  a  boat  sailing  between  that 
port  and  Chicago.  He  was  engaged  in  the 
war  of  18 1 2  and  during  the  McKenzie  rebel- 
lion he  was  implicated  with  the  patriots  and 
found  it  necessary  to  leave  Canada.  At  that 
time  he  took  up  his  abode  in  Detroit  and  it 
was  at  a  later  day  that  he  removed  to  St.  Jo- 
seph, Michigan.  He  married  Eunice  Bailey,  a 
native  of  Connecticut  who  belonged  to  an  old 
New  England  family.  In  an  early  period  of 
the  settlement  of  western  New  York  she  re- 
moved to  Watertown,  that  state,  with  her 
brother  who  became  a  prominent  business  man 
there  and  it  was  in  Watertown  that  she  gave 
her  hand  in  marriage  to  Samuel  Hicks. 
Her  last  days  were  spent  in  St.  Law- 
rence county,  New  York.  She  reared 
her  four  children  in  the  faith  of  the 
Presbyterian  church,  of  which  she  was  a  de- 
voted member.  Her  eldest  son,  Andrus,  died" 
in  St.  Lawrence  county.  Louisa  became  the 
wife  of  O.  L.  Brooks,  for  many  years  a  resi- 
dent in  Cleveland,  Ohio.  Marinda  M.  married 
Ambrose  Clow  and  resided  in  New  Westmin- 
ster, British  Columbia,  both  of  whom  are  now 
deceased. 

John  Hicks  spent  his  boyhood  days  in  Canada 
and  supplemented  the  early  education  of  the 
district  school  by  study  in  Whitney  Academy. 
His  education  completed,  he  began  work  first 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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on  a  farm  and  later  became  a  clerk  in  a  store. 
In  the   fall  of   1849  ne  traveled  by  stage  to 
Toronto,  thence  by  boat  to  Queenstown  and 
Chippewa  and  after  visiting  Buffalo  he  went 
to  Detroit.     Finally  he  located  in  Dewitt,  Clin- 
ton  county,   Michigan,   where    his    uncle,   the 
Hon.  David  Sturgis,  was  conducting  a  general 
store  and  also  a  grist  and  saw  mill  and  was  at 
that    time   the    most   prominent    man    in    the 
county.     For  a  year  Mr.  Hicks  acted  as  book- 
keeper for  his  uncle  and  then  having  demon- 
strated his  ability  and  ambition  he  was  admit- 
ted to  a  partnership  and  with  his  uncle  pur- 
chased a  stock  of  goods,  establishing  a  general 
mercantile  store.     After  about  three  years  Mr. 
Hicks  purchased  his  uncle's  interest  and  Mr. 
Sturgis  then  came  to   St.   Johns,,   while   Mr. 
Hicks  continued  the  business  at  Dewitt.     Such 
was  the  pioneer  condition  at  the  time  that  it 
required  a  week  to  haul  goods  by  team  from 
Detroit  and  he  was  obliged  to  carry  on  busi- 
ness on  what  was  rather  a  barter  system,  ac- 
cepting everything  imaginable  in  exchange  for 
his  merchandise.     In  the  fall  of  1856  he  dis- 
posed of  his  store  in  Dewitt  and  came  to  St. 
Johns,  where  he  made  his  home  continuously 
until  his  death.     Here  he  resumed  partnership 
with  his  uncle  and  two  years  later  he  again 
bought  out  Mr.    Sturgis'   interest,  continuing 
alone  in  his  general  mercantile  venture.     As 
the  years  advanced  his  business  grew  in  vol- 
ume and  importance  with  the  growth  and  de- 
velopment of  the  county  and  in  later  years  he 
conducted  an  extensive  and  profitable  mercan- 
tile enterprise  as  a  dealer  in  dry  goods,  car- 
pets and  cloaks,  occupying  two  floors  of  an  ex- 
tensive  store   now   owned   and   controlled  by 
his  son,  John  C.  Hicks.     In  addition  to  his  in- 
terests in  St.  Johns  Mr.  Hicks  of  this  review 
for  many  years  also  managed  two  stores  in 
Gratiot  county,  one  at  Bridgeville  and  one  at 
Pompeii. 

A  man  of  resourceful  business  ability,  read- 
ily recognizing  an  opportunity  and  utilizing  the 
same  for  purposes  of  business  advancement, 
Mr.  Hicks  in  the  year  1858  began  buying  grain 
in  St.  Johns,  shipping  in  bags  and  barrels  the 
first  grain  that  went  from  this  port.     In  i860 


he  built  a  warehouse  in  order  that  he  might 
more  extensively  carry  on  his  operations  and 
was  connected  with  the  grain  trade  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death,  being  the  oldest  grain  mer- 
chant as  well  as  dry-goods  merchant  in  the 
county.     In  his  business  he  kept  pace  with  the 
progress  of  the  times,  introducing  all  modern 
improvements  in  his  elevator  and  having  the 
largest  plant  for  clearing  his  wheat  and  ship- 
ping grain  of  any  man  in  St.  Johns.     He  like- 
wise  engaged   in   buying  wool   and   found  a 
profitable  field  of  labor  through  his  operations 
in   land   and   lumber.      In   the   early   days   he 
bought  staves  in  the  Detroit  market  which  he 
shipped    to    Europe.      Mr.    Hicks    owned   and 
operated  a  fine  farm  of  one  hundred  and  sixty 
acres  in  Essex  township  and  he  had  other  ex- 
tensive real-estate  interests  in  Clinton,  Gratiot 
and  Isabella  counties  of  this  state  and  in  Flor- 
ida, while  in  Nebraska  he  owned  an  extensive 
ranch.     His  business  operations  also  extended 
to  the  building  line  and  in  this  connection  he 
contributed  in  substantial  measure  to  the  ma- 
terial improvement  of  his  adopted  city.     He 
was  the  chairman  and  the  most  efficient  mem- 
ber of  the  building  committee  that  erected  the 
courthouse  and  jail  at  St.  Johns  and  was  also 
on  the  building  committee  for  the  construction 
of  the  schoolhouse.     He  erected  a  number  of 
brick  buildings  here  and  in  connection  with  R. 
M.  Steel  built  the  three-story  brick  block  which 
is  known  by  their  name.    These  gentlemen  like- 
wise engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  brick,  con- 
ducting a  yard  at  St.  Johns  for  many  years. 
Active  in  other  industrial  lines  Mr.  Hicks  was 
for  several  years  proprietor  and  manager  of  St. 
Johns   foundry  and   agricultural   works.      He 
came  to  Clinton  county  with  a  capital  of  only 
one  thousand  dollars  and  by  strict  integrity, 
the  exercise  of  good  judgment  and  unfaltering 
perseverance  in  carrying  out  his  well  laid  plans 
he  made  a  success  of  everything  which  he  un- 
dertook.   His  name  became  an  honored  one  in 
banking  circles, for  he  was  one  of  the  organ- 
izers of  the  St.  Johns  National  Bank  in  which 
he  instituted  a  safe  conservative  policy  that 
made  it  one  of  the  most  reliable  financial  con- 
cerns of  this  portion  of  the  state.    He  acted  as 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


president  from  its  organization  until  his  death 
and  was  one  of  its  largest  stockholders.  He 
was  also  one  of  the  organizers  and  a  director 
of  the  Savings  Bank. 

In  1855  Mr.  Hicks  was  united  in  marriage 
to  Miss  Eliza  Huston,  a  daughter  of  Mathew 
Huston    and    a    granddaughter    of    Thomas 
Huston,  both  wealthy  landowners  of  County 
Antrim,  Ireland.     The  family  was  established 
in  America  in  18 18,  when  the  representatives 
of  the  name  that  crossed  the  Atlantic  located 
in  Vermont.    Later  they  went  to  Burlington, 
Vermont,    and    Mathew    Huston    became    the 
owner  of  a  flourishing  shoe  factory  in  Shel- 
burne,  Vermont.     However,  he  met  with  re- 
verses by  signing  papers  for  a  friend  and  in 
order  to  retrieve  his  lost  possessions  he  came 
to  Michigan  in  1848,  finally  settling  in  Gratiot 
county,    where   he   died   in    1856.      He   was   a 
man  highly  respected  by  all  who  knew  him  and 
one  whose  business  honor  and  integrity  were 
above  questions.     He  married  Arabelle  Pierce, 
a  native  of  Vermont  and  a  daughter  of  Luther 
Pierce,   who  was  born   in   Connecticut.      Mrs. 
Huston  spent  her  last  days  in  St.  Johns.     In 
her  family  were  five  children  including  Mrs. 
Hicks,  who  was  born  in  Shelburne,  Vermont, 
October  13,  1833,  and  after  attending  the  com- 
mon schools  received  her  higher  education  in 
the  Ladies'  Seminary  at  Hinesburgh.     Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Hicks  became  the  parents  of  a  son  and 
two  daughters:    Ida  E.,  who  married  William 
C.  B.  Rawson,  of  Mount  Dora,  Florida;  John 
G,  who  is  president  of  the  St.  Johns  National 
Bank  and  a  merchant  of  this  city;  and  Jennie 
M.,  who    became    the    wife    of    Coleman    G 
Vaughan,  of  St.   Johns,   Michigan,   and  died 
March  7,  1895. 

While  controlling  important  and  constantly 
enlarging  business  interests  Mr.  Hicks  yet 
found  time  for  the  duties  of  public  life  and  tak- 
ing an  active  interest  in  political  questions  he 
wras  chairman  of  the  democratic  county  cen- 
tral committee.  He  served  on  the  village 
board  for  a  number  of  years  and  took  a  helpful 
part  in  many  measures  that  contributed  to  the 
material,  intellectual,  political  and  moral  wel- 
fare of  the  city.     He  was  active  in  organiz- 


ing the  First  Methodist  Episcopal  church  of 
St.  Johns,  was  chairman  of  its  board  and  one 
of  its  trustees.  A  man's  success  is  not  deter- 
mined by  the  heights  which  he  has  reached 
but  by  the  depths  from  which  he  has  climbed 
and  taking  cognizance  of  the  fact  that  Mr. 
Hicks  started  out  as  a  farm  hand  his  career  is 
one  that  is  indeed  worthy  of  emulation,  for  he 
became  one  of  the  most  wealthy  men  of  the 
county.  Moreover  he  was  public  spirited  to 
an  eminent  degree  and  his  name  was  at  all 
times  an  honored  one,  while  his  life  record 
would  bear  the  closest  investigation  and  scru- 
tiny. His  name  is  inseparably  associated  with 
the  history  of  St.  Johns  as  almost  all  lines  of 
activity  here  felt  the  stimulus  of  his  influence 
and  co-operation.  He  passed  away  April  2, 
1903.  As  the  day  with  its  morning  of  hope 
and  promise,  its  noontide  of  activity,  its  even- 
ing of  successful  and  accomplished  effort  end- 
ing in  the  grateful  rest  and  quiet  of  the  night, 
so  was  the  life  of  John  Hicks. 


J.  W.  FITZGERALD. 


J.  W.  Fitzgerald,  cashier  of  the  State  Bank 
of  St.  Johns  since  1892  and  the  present  mayor 
of  the  city,  is  well  knowTn  in  financial  and  polit- 
ical circles  in  Clinton  county  and  this  section 
of  Michigan.  He  was  born  in  Rochester,  New 
York,  in  1845,  and  when  a  lad  of  eight  years 
was  brought  to  Michigan  by  his  parents,  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  M.  Fitzgerald.  His  youth  was 
largely  devoted  to  the  acquirement  of  an  edu- 
cation in  the  public  schools  and  he  was  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Third  Michigan  Cavalry  during  the 
Civil  war.  He  had  not  yet  attained  his  ma- 
jority when  he  offered  his  services  to  the  gov- 
ernment, but  he  proved  a  loyal  soldier  upon  the 
battle-fields  of  the  south. 

When  the  country  no  longer  needed  his 
services  Mr.  Fitzgerald,  returning  to  Michigan, 
entered  the  field  of  journalism,  becoming  the 
publisher  of  the  Ovid  Register,  of  which  he  was 
editor  and  owner  for  two  and  a  half  years. 
In   1872  he  established  the  Chesaning  Times, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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but  disposed  of  that  paper  two  years  later  in 
order  to  enter  the  United  States  mail  service,  in 
which  he  remained  for  seven  years.  On  the 
expiration  of  that  period  he  once  more  entered 
the  journalistic  field,  forming  a  partnership  with 
James  S.  DeLand  in  the  establishment  and 
publication  of  the  Jackson  Evening  Times  at 
Jackson,  Michigan,  but  in  1879  he  again  took 
up  his  abode  in  Ovid,  where  he  founded  the 
Clinton  and  Shiawassee  Union.  He  then  de- 
voted his  undivided  attention  to  the  interests  of 
his  paper  until  1886.  Mr.  Fitzgerald,  always 
interested  in  political  questions  and  very  well 
informed  upon  the  issues  of  the  day,  had  become 
recognized  as  a  leader  in  local  ranks  of  the  re- 
publican party  and  in  1886  he  received  the  party 
nomination  for  the  office  of  register  of  deeds 
of  Clinton  county,  to  which  he  was  elected  for 
a  two  years'  term,  and  was  later  re-elected, 
serving  in  all  four  years.  He  proved  a  capable 
incumbent,  retiring  from  the  position  as  he  had 
entered  it,  with  the  confidence  and  good  will  of 
all  of  his  constituents.  He  has  also  been  a 
member  of  the  local  school  board  for  nine  years. 
His  interest  in  political  questions  has  never 
abated  and  he  is  now  efficiently  serving  as 
mayor  of  St.  Johns. 

Since  his  retirement  from  office  as  register  of 
deeds  Mr.  Fitzgerald  has  been  actively  con- 
nected with  banking  interests  and  since  189 1 
has  continuously  been  the  cashier  of  the  State 
Bank  of  St.  Johns,  which  is  capitalized  for  fifty 
thousand  dollars,  with  a  surplus  of  over  ten 
thousand  two  hundred  dollars  and  undivided 
profits  of  seven  thousand  five  hundred  dollars. 
O.  W.  Munger  is  now  occupying  the  presidency, 
while  for  thirteen  years  Mr.  Fitzgerald  has  been 
cashier.  The  institution  conducts  a  general 
banking  business  and  every  accommodation  is 
extended  to  its  patrons  consistent  with  safe 
banking.  Manifesting  in  early  life  a  strong 
purpose,  as  shown  by  his  military  service,  Mr. 
Fitzgerald  has  ever  been  known  as  a  man  of 
firm  determination,  adhering  closely  to  a  course 
which  he  believes  to  be  right  or  to  a  definite 
plan  of  action  in  the  business  world  and  in  this 
manner  he  has  ever  enjoyed  and  received  the 
confidence  and  trust  of  his  fellowmen.     He  was 


the  first  president  of  the  Business  Men's  Asso- 
ciation of  St.  John. 

On  the  7th  of  October,  1868,  Mr.  Fitz- 
gerald was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Ger- 
trude Yerkes,  of  Northville,  Michigan,  and  to 
them  were  born  four  children,  namely :  Howard 
H.,  now  editor  and  proprietor  of  the  Daily  Flint 
Journal;  Harry  Y.  and  Roy  C,  who  are  located 
at  Los  Angeles,  California,  and  are  reporters 
on  the  Los  Angeles  Daily  Times;  and  Maude 
L,  the  eldest  of  the  family,  who  is  now  the  wife 
of  Charles  P.  Baker,  of  the  firm  of  Travis  & 
Baker,  druggists  of  St.  Johns.  The  mother  of 
these  children  died  June  9,  1898,  and  in  August, 
1900,  Mr.  Fitzgerald  married  Mrs.  Lena  Mar- 
tin, of  St.  Johns. 


LEVI  W.  BALDWIN. 

The  history  of  a  county  as  well  as  that  of  a 
state  or  nation  is  chiefly  the  chronicle  of  the 
lives  and  the  deeds  of  men  who<  have  been 
promoters  of  business  activity  and  have  upheld 
the  political  and  legal  status  of  his  community. 
The  world  judges  the  character  of  a  locality 
by  that  of  its  representatives  because  of  the 
genius,  learning  or  virtues  of  those  whose  ac- 
tions constitute  the  record  of  the  county.  Mr. 
Baldwin,  as  one  of  the  representative  men  of 
St.  Johns,  has  carved  out  a  business  career  that 
reflects  credit  upon  the  community  in  which  he 
lives  and  he  is  therefore  justly  entitled  to  men- 
tion in  this  volume. 

Be  was  born  in  Jamestown,  New  York, 
March  29,  1836,  and  represents  an  old  family 
of  Connecticut,  his  father,  William  Baldwin, 
had  three  brothers  living  in  different  states. 
The  grandfather,  Benjamin  Baldwin,  became  a 
resident  of  the  Empire  state  and  died  in  May- 
ville,  New  York,  at  the  advanced  age  of  ninety 
years.  William  Baldwin  was  born  in  Catskill, 
New  York,  and  having  arrived  at  years  of  ma- 
turity was  married  to  Jane  Ann  Dutcher,  a 
native  of  Granville,  New  York.  For  many 
years  after  their  marriage  they  lived  in  the 
Empire  state  and  in  1865  came  to  Michigan, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


settling  in  the  township  of  Bengal,  Clinton 
county.  There  he  purchased  a  farm  but  he 
was  a  carpenter  and  joiner  by  trade  and  soon 
afterward  settled  in  St.  Johns,  where  he  fol- 
lowed building  operations.  There  his  wife 
died  and  he  passed  away  at  the  ripe  old  age 
of  eighty-six  years. 

Levi  W.  Baldwin  was  educated  in  the  dis- 
trict union  schools  in  Niagara  county,  New 
York,  and  in  the  village  of  Olcott,  New  York. 
In  his  youth  he  learned  the  carpenter's  trade 
and  went  to  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana,  where  he 
followed  that  pursuit,  while  later  he  carried  on 
building  operations  in  New  York  and  Peoria, 
Illinois.  Coming  to  Clinton  county,  Michigan, 
he  bought  eighty  acres  of  land  in  Bengal  town- 
ship in  1865  and  at  once  began  improving  this 
place,  of  which  twenty  acres  had  already  been 
cleared.  After  a  year,  however,  he  went  to  St. 
Johns,  and  in  1867  he  purchased  land  in  Dallas 
township,  after  selling  his  other  farm  of  eighty 
acres.  He  was  then  engaged  in  general  agri- 
cultural pursuits  until  the  1st  of  January, 
1874,  when  he  bought  a  stock  of  hardware 
from  J.  F.  Shraft,  at  Fowler,  continuing  the 
same  at  the  original  place  for  two  years,  dur- 
ing which  time  he  also  acted  as  express  agent. 
On  the  20th  of  October,  1877,  he  formed  a 
partnership  with  J.  F.  Gary  under  the  firm 
name  of  Baldwin  &  Gary,  and  they  built  the 
present  store  of  Mr.  Baldwin,  who  later  pur- 
chased his  partner's  interest  in  the  building. 
He  has  since  conducted  the  business  and  a  lib- 
eral patronage  is  accorded  him. 

In  the  fall  of  i860  Mr.  Baldwin  was  united 
in  marriage  to  Miss  Melvina  M.  Brown,  a 
daughter  of  James  Brown,  and  they  have  now 
three  living  children  :  Etta,  the  wife  of  Dr. 
John  F.  McPheron,  of  Detroit ;  George  T.  and 
Jesse  E.,  both  of  Fowler.  They  also  lost  three 
children :  Frank,  who  died  at  the  age  of  eigh- 
teen years;  Herbert;  and  one,  who  died  in  in- 
fancy. 

Politically  Mr.  Baldwin  is  a  democrat  and 
has  served  as  county  treasurer,  while  in  1870 
he  was  elected  supervisor  of  his  township,  con- 
tinuously filling  that  position  until  1890.  In 
that  year  he  was  chosen  to  represent  his  dis- 


trict in  the  state  legislature,  where  he  served 
for  one  term  and  after  his  retirement  from  that 
office  he  was  re-elected  supervisor,  in  which  ca- 
pacity he  served  for  five  years.  From  1875 
until  1890  he  was  notary  public.  In  the  dis- 
charge of  his  political  duties  he  manifests  the 
same  spirit  of  enterprise  and  devotion  to  de- 
tail that*  mark  the  conduct  of  his  private  busi- 
ness interests  and  have  been  salient  features 
in  his  success.  He  has  been  a  member  of  the 
Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen  at  Fowler 
since  the  organization  of  the  lodge  in  1878,  this 
being  the  nineteenth  lodge  established  in  this 
state.  Mr.  Baldwin  is  a  self-made  man,  ow- 
ing his  advancement  to  his  own  labors.  There 
are  no  rules  for  the  building  of  character  and 
no  rule  for  achieving  success,  and  a  man  who 
can  rise  from  the  ranks  to  a  leading  position 
is  he  who  can  see  and  utilize  the  opportunities 
that  surround  his  path. 


PETER  H.  BANTA,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Peter  H.  Banta,  engaged  in  the  practice 
of  medicine  and  surgery  at  Westphalia,  is  a 
native  of  Oxford,  Oakland  county,  Michigan, 
born  August  19,  1874,  and  is  a  son  of  Pendle- 
ton and  Carrie  (Travis)  Banta,  the  former  a 
native  of  New  York  city,  and  the  latter  of 
Oxford,  Michigan.  The  Banta  family  comes 
of  Scotch  and  German  ancestry,  while  the 
Travis  family  is  of  English  and  German  ex- 
traction. Pendleton  Banta  removed  from  New 
York  to  Michigan  in  i860,  settling  on  a  farm 
near  Oxford  and  the  last  twenty  years  of  his 
life  has  been  passed  in  Lebanon  township,  Clin- 
ton county,  where  he  died  in  1903,  at  the  age 
of  fifty-two  years.  His  widow  is  still  living  on 
the  old  home  farm  near  Hubbardston,  in 
Lebanon  township,  the  place  being  about  two 
and  a  half  miles  east  of  the  village.  Mr. 
Banta  was  an  enthusiastic  supporter  of  the 
prohibition  party  and  in  his  home  locality  was 
called  to  the  office  of  justice  of  the  peace.  He 
was  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Order  of  United 
Workmen  and  the  Knights  of  the  Maccabees, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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and  was  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  enter- 
prising agriculturists  of  Clinton  county.  He 
was  a  well  educated  man  and  because  of  his 
ability  was  frequently  called  upon  to  draw  up 
wills  and  deeds,  which  he  could  execute  in  an 
able  manner  because  of  his  fine  penmanship 
and  legal  knowledge.  He  was  a  man  of  un- 
faltering diligence  and  his  activity  proved  not 
only  a  source  of  his  own  success  but  also  made 
him  a  valued  and  representative  citizen  of  Clin- 
ton county.  In  the  family  were  seven  children : 
Andrew,  who  is  living  on  the  home  farm;  Peter 
H.;  Carrie,  the  wife  of  Henry  Heilner,  of 
Howard  City,  Michigan;  Mabel,  the  wife  of 
Parshal  Adams,  mail  clerk  on  the  Grand  Trunk 
Railroad  and  a  resident  of  Detroit;  James,  who 
is  living  in  South  Dakota;  Lois,  at  home;  and 
Martin,  of  Detroit. 

Dr.  Banta,  whose  name  introduces  this  re- 
view, attended  the  common  and  high  schools  at 
Hubbardston  and  prepared  for  his  profession  by 
a  four  years'  course  of  study  in  the  Detroit  Col- 
lege of  Medicine,  which  he  entered  in  1895. 
When  war  with  Spain  was  inaugurated  he  went 
to  Florida  with  the  Thirty-second  Regiment  of 
Michigan  Volunteers,  and  on  the  4th  of  July 
was  transferred  to  the  regular  army.  He  was 
engaged  in  hospital  duty  in  Florida  and  was 
mustered  out  of  service  there  on  the  29th  of 
January,  1899,  after  which  he  returned  to  col- 
lege and  was  graduated  with  the  class  of  May, 
1900. 

The  same  month  Dr.  Banta  located  for  prac- 
tice in  Westphalia  and  opened  an  office.  After 
two  and  a  half  years  he  removed  to  Mancelona, 
Michigan,  where  he  remained  for  two  years  and 
returned  to  Westphalia  in  July,  1904.  He  has 
since  practiced  here  with  good  success,  being 
accorded  a  large  patronage  by  his  fellow  towns- 
men who  recognize  his  capability  in  the  line  of 
his  chosen  profession. 

On  the  19th  of  September,  1900,  Dr.  Banta 
was  married  to  Miss  Fannie  L.  Bray  ton,  a 
daughter  of  Byron  and  Emogene  (Musel) 
Brayton,  of  North  Plains,  Ionia  county,  Michi- 
gan. Dr.  and  Mrs.  Banta  have  one  daughter, 
Evangeline  Lucile.  Dr.  Banta  has  been  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Masonic  fraternity  since   1897,  be- 


longing to  Fuscan  lodge,  No.  178,  A.  F.  &  A. 
M.  He  is  likewise  connected  with  the  Elks 
lodge,  No.  548,  at  Ionia,  Michigan,  with  the 
Woodmen  of  the  World,  the  Gold  Reserve  of 
Mount  Pleasant  and  the  Independent  Order  of 
Odd  Fellows,  and  in  his  professional  service  has 
ample  opportunity  to  exemplify  the  beneficent 
spirit  of  these  different  fraternal  organizations. 
He  is  a  well  equipped  young  practitioner  who 
has  already  attained  a  position  of  prominence 
and  through  experience  and  study  he  is  con- 
tinually broadening  his  knowledge  and  promot- 
ing his  efficiency. 


BENTON  SPRAGUE. 

Benton  Sprague,  living  on  section  2j,  Vic- 
tor township,  is  numbered  among  the  pioneer 
settlers  who  are  familiar  with  the  history  of 
the  county  from  the  period  of  its  earliest  de- 
velopment down  to  the  present  time.    His  birth 
occurred  in  the  town  of  Covington,   Genesee 
county,  New  York,  March  19,  1838.     His  fa- 
ther, Erastus  Sprague,  was  a  native  of  Massa- 
chusetts, born  in  1806,  and  was  a  son  of  Cap- 
tain James  Sprague,  a  native  of  the  old  Bay 
state.     The  Sprague  family  is  of  English  lin- 
eage and  was  established  in  New  England  in 
the  early  period  of  the  colonization  of  the  coun- 
try.   Captain  James  Sprague  and  his  family  re- 
moved from  Massachusetts  to  Genesee  county, 
New  York,  where  Erastus  Sprague  was  reared 
and  married,  the  lady  of  his  choice  being  Miss 
Sarah  Sanderson,  a  native  of  that  state.     Mr. 
Sprague  became  a  farmer  of  Genesee  county 
and  in  1852  removed  to  the  west,  taking  up 
his  abode  in  Victor  township,  Clinton  county, 
Michigan.     Few  were  the  settlers  within  its 
borders   and   the  work  of   improvement   and 
progress  seemed  scarcely  begun.     He  at  first 
entered  land  from  the  government  and  began 
the  development  of  a  farm,  while  later  he  pur- 
chased other  tracts  and  eventually  became  the 
owner  of  five  hundred  and  twenty  acres  of  land. 
He  cleared  a  forty-acre  tract  where  his  son  now 
resides  and  upon  the  place  there  was  an  old 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


double  log  house  which  was  a  wayside  inn  or 
tavern  on  the  stage  road.  Mr.  Sprague  died 
in  this  county  in  1855  and  was  for  a  few  years 
survived  by  his  wife.  In  their  family  were 
two  sons  including  Henry  Sprague,  who  is  a 
farmer  and  resides  near  Grand  Island,  Ne- 
braska. 

Benton  Sprague,  the  other  son,  was  a  lad  of 
fourteen  years  when  he  came  with  his  parents 
to  Clinton  county  and  he  assisted  in  clearing 
and  developing  the  home  farm,  becoming  fa- 
miliar with  all  the  arduous  labor  incident  to 
such  work.  He  drove  a  breaking  team  of  eight 
yoke  of  oxen,  sowed  the  seed  in  many  a  fur- 
row and  in  due  course  of  time  harvested  good 
crops.  He  and  his  brother  became  purchasers 
of  the  old  homestead  property  and  were  part- 
ners for  twenty  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time 
they  divided  their  real  estate.  Benton  Sprague 
now  owns  the  old  home  place  of  one  hundred 
and  twenty  acres,  on  which  are  fine  modern  im- 
provements and  all  the  accessories  needed  to 
facilitate  farm  work  according  to  modern 
ideas.  His  home  is  a  pleasant  residence  and 
there  is  a  good  barn,  a  granary  and  other  build- 
ings for  the  shelter  of  grain  and  stock.  Mr. 
Sprague  also  planted  an  orchard  and  now  has 
a  well  fenced  and  neat  farm  property. 

He  was  first  married  in  Dewitt  township  to 
Miss  Jane  Throppe,  a  native  of  Canada.  She 
was  an  invalid  for  years  and  died  in  this  county 
in  1897.  There  were  four  children  born  of 
that  union  but  only  one  is  now  living,  Ada,  the 
wife  of  Bert  Rohrbacher,  a  prominent  farmer 
of  Victor  township.  Mr.  Sprague  was  again 
married  in  St.  Johns  in  1898,  his  second  un- 
ion being  with  Mrs.  Lovina  Francis,  a  widow, 
who  by  her  former  marriage  had  one  son, 
Howard  Francis,  who  has  been  with  Mr. 
Sprague  from  his  early  youth  and  for  some 
years  has  assisted  him  in  carrying  on  the  farm. 
The  present  Mrs.  Sprague  cared  for  and 
nursed  the  first  wife  and  after  her  death  she 
gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to  Mr.  Sprague. 

Politically  Mr.  Sprague  is  a  stanch  repub- 
lican, giving  unfaltering  support  to  the  men  and 
measures  of  the  party.  His  time  and  atten- 
tion, however,  have  not  been  divided  by  the  at- 


tractions of  office  holding  but  are  given  to  his 
farm  work  and  his  place  of  one  hundred  and 
twenty  acres  is  a  valuable  and  desirable  prop- 
erty. He  has  resided  in  this  county  for  fifty- 
three  years  and  is  therefore  numbered  among 
its  leading  settlers.  He  has  seen  the  forests 
cut,  has  aided  in  clearing  and  breaking  the  land 
and  has  been  the  champion  of  many  progres- 
sive measures.  Great  transformation  has  been 
wrought  until  the  county  to-day  bears  little 
resemblance  to  the  district  to  which  he  entered 
as  a  pioneer  in  his  boyhood. 


HENRY  A.  POTTER. 


Henry  A.  Potter,  occupying  a  prominent 
position  in  commercial  circles  in  Ovid,  with  a 
business  reputation  that  any  man  might  be 
proud  to  possess,  is  a  native  of  Starkey,  Yates 
county,  New  York,  born  April  6,  1840,  his 
parents  being  Edward  and  Sophia  (Welter) 
Potter,  the  former  a  native  of  Rhode  Island  and 
the  latter  of  New  Jersey.  They  became  resi- 
dents of  New  York,  however,  and  Edward  Pot- 
ter spent  his  active  business  life  in  the  Empire 
state  and  in  Michigan,  arriving  in  the  latter 
state  in  1855.  He  settled  on  wild  land  south 
of  Shepardsville,  Clinton  county,  and  for  a 
long  period  was  associated  with  agricultural  in- 
terests but  is  now  living  in  Ovid.  His  wife 
passed  away  in  1886.  In  their  family  was  a 
daughter,  Amelia,  now  the  wife  of  D.  F. 
Aldrich,  of  Ovid. 

Their  elder  child,  Henry  A.  Potter  of  this 
review,  was  educated  at  Eddytown  Seminary  in 
New  York  after  completing  a  common-school 
course.  He  afterward  engaged  in  teaching 
school  in  Ovid,  arriving  here  in  1856.  His  time 
and  energies  were  devoted  to  educational  work 
in  the  winter  seasons  while  in  the  summer 
months  he  was  engaged  at  farm  labor,  his  time 
being  thus  passed  until  1862,  when  in  the  month 
of  July  he  responded  to  his  country's  call,  en- 
listing in  Company  B,  Fourth  Michigan 
Cavalry.  He  was  mustered  in  at  Detroit,  on 
the  28th  of  August,    1862,   and  became  duty 


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H.  A.  POTTER. 


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sergeant.  He  was  promoted  to  orderly  ser- 
geant in  1862  and  second  lieutenant  April  6, 
1863.  Nine  days  later  he  was  made  first  lieu- 
tenant and  assigned  to  Company  M,  and  in 
August,  1864,  he  was  commissioned  captain  and 
was  placed  in  command  of  Company  H  of  the 
same  regiment.  He  was  never  wounded  al- 
though he  had  his  horse  shot  from  under  him 
two  successive  days.  His  was  the  regiment  that 
captured  Jefferson  Davis.  His  promotions  came 
to  him  in  recognition  of  his  valor  and  meritori- 
ous conduct  on  the  field  of  battle  and  were  also 
indicative  of  his  loyalty  to  the  cause  he  es- 
poused. He  participated  in  all  of  the  engage- 
ments of  his  regiment  from  Stone  river  to 
Atlanta  and  was  mustered  out  at  Nashville, 
Tennessee,  on  the  1st  of  July,  1865. 

Following  the  close  of  the  war  Captain  Pot- 
ter returned  to  Ovid  and  became  connected  with 
commercial  interests  at  this  place.  He  secured 
a  situation  in  the  store  of  Pearl  &  Faxon,  but 
the  firm  dissolved  partnership  in  1866  and  from 
that  year  until  1871  Mr.  Potter  was  in  partner- 
ship with  Mr.  Faxon  under  the  firm  style  of 
Faxon  &  Potter.  From  187 1  until  1873  the 
firm  was  Faxon,  Potter  &  Swarthout  and  from 
1873  until  1883  was  Potter  &  Swarthout.  Mr. 
Potter  then  purchased  his  partner's  interest  but 
later  he  sold  the  business  to  Mr.  Swarthout 
and  was  engaged  in  the  conduct  of  a  creamery 
from  1884  until  1901.  Through  the  succeed- 
ing year  he  was  engaged  in  no  active  business 
enterprise.  In  1902  he  was  connected  with  C. 
E.  Jillson  under  the  firm  name  of  Jillson  &  Pot- 
ter in  the  conduct  of  a  mercantile  enterprise  and 
the  following  year  purchased  his  partner's  in- 
terest and  has  since  continued  in  the  dry-goods 
business  alone  in  Ovid.  He  is  the  oldest  mer- 
chant in  the  dry-goods  trade  in  this 
place  and  has  a  thoroughly  .  modern 
store,  commanding  the  leading  trade  of  the 
town  and  surrounding  country.  He  also  owns 
a  fine  residence  in  Ovid.  At  times  Mr.  Potter 
has  met  with  financial  reverses  but  honesty  and 
integrity  have  guided  him  in  all  his  dealings 
and  he  is  now  again  conducting  a  successful 
mercantile  enterprise  with  a  large  and  growing 
patronage.    Mr.  Potter  has  also  been  identified 


with  banking  interests,  having  been  the  presi- 
dent of  the  First  National  Bank  and  also  the 
president  of  the  State  Bank  of  Ovid  until  1905. 

On  the  2d  of  December,  1867,  occurred  the 
marriage  of  Mr.  Potter  and  Miss  Kate  E. 
Gardner,  a  daughter  of  Peleg  Gardner,  a  resi- 
dent of  the  village  of  Potter,  Yates  county,  New 
York.  The  children  of  this  marriage  are :  Mon- 
roe B.  Potter,  who  was  born  in  1869  and  died 
in  1874;  Edward  Gardner,  who  was  born  in 
April,  1 871,  and  died  in  August  of  the  same 
year;  and  Bertha  Louise,  who  was  born  in  1876 
and  is  the  wife  of  Rev.  Samuel  G.  Palmer,  of 
the  Presbyterian  church  at  Union  Springs,  New 
York. 

In  his  political  affiliation  Mr.  Potter  is  a  stal- 
wart republican  and  is  a  member  of  George  A. 
Winans  post,  G.  A.  R.,  at  Ovid,  while  since 
1869  he  has  been  a  member  of  Grace  Methodist 
Episcopal  church.  For  many  years  he  has  been 
officially  connected  with  the  church  as  steward 
and  trustee,  and  has  been  superintendent  of  the 
Sunday-school.  On  the  19th  of  May,  1900,  he 
was  sent  as  a  delegate  to  the  general  conference 
held  in  Chicago.  He  was  chairman  of  the 
building  committee  at  the  time  of  the  erection 
of  its  present  house  of  worship  in  1893  and  the 
success  that  attended  this  movement  is  largely 
due  to  his  efforts.  He  is  a  man  of  strong  and 
steadfast  purpose,  always  true  to  his  honest  con- 
victions and  reliable  in  all  life's  relations  and 
wherever  known  he  has  gained  the  warm 
friendship  and  high  regard  of  those  with  whom 
he  has  been  associated. 


EDGAR  BURK. 


Edgar  Burk,  devoting  his  time  and  energies 
to  general  agricultural  pursuits  on  section  1, 
Greenbush  township,  is  a  native  of  Ohio,  his 
birth  having  occurred  in  Fredericktown,  Knox 
county,  on  the  24th  of  April,  1864.  His  father, 
William  Burk,  was  a  native  of  Baltimore, 
Maryland,  born  in  1818,  and  was  a  son  of 
Squire  Burk,  who  removed  to  Ohio  about  1828. 
William  Burk  was  reared  in  the  Buckeye  state 

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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


and  was  there  married  to  Miss  Mary  Jane 
Huff,  also  a  native  of  Ohio.  For  a  number 
of  years  he  followed  farming  in  Ohio  but  in 
1879  came  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Greenbush 
township,  Clinton  county.  He  had  first  visited 
this  section  of  the  state  in  1849  an^  had  Pur" 
chased  land,  which  he  afterward  sold.  Return- 
ing to  the  county  twenty  years  later  he  located 
on  a  farm,  which  he  began  to  cultivate  and  im- 
prove, and  he  now  has  a  neat  and  attractive 
place.  He  has  reared  his  family  here  and  still 
resides  upon  the  old  homestead  adjoining  the 
farm  on  which  his  son  Edgar  now  resides. 

The  latter  is  the  eldest  in  a  family  of  ten 
children  and  aided  in  improving  and  developing 
the  old  home  place,  remaining  there  with  his 
father  until  he  had  attained  his  majority.  He 
acquired  his  elementary  education  in  the  com- 
mon schools  and  later  attended  school  in  Ovid 
and  was  a  student  in  St.  Johns,  Big 
Rapids  and  the  Michigan  Agricultural  Col- 
lege. He  then  began  teaching  and  for  thirteen 
consecutive  years  followed  that  profession  in 
Clinton  and  Ionia  counties.  He  was  principal 
of  the  schools  of  Eureka,  also  at  Hubbardston 
for  three  years,  having  four  teachers  under  his 
direction.  He  was  likewise  principal  of  the 
schools  of  Manhattan,  Montana,  for  a  year  and 
of  Dewitt  for  two  years,  while  in  the  period 
of  his  early  connection  with  educational  work 
he  was  a  district  school  teacher. 

Mr.  Burk  was  married  in  Greenbush  town- 
ship, June  29,  1897,  to  Miss  Martha  E.  Beck, 
daughter  of  John  Beck,  of  Greenbush  township, 
who  is  mentioned  elsewhere  in  this  work.  Mrs. 
Burk  was  born,  reared  and  educated  here. 
After  his  marriage  Mr.  Burk  taught  school  for 
one  year  and  then  located  on  his  farm,  having 
previously  purchased  a  tract  of  eighty  acres. 
He  has  since  built  a  good,  neat  residence  and  a 
large  new  barn  with  big  sheds  for  the  shelter 
of  grain  and  stock.  He  uses  the  latest  improved 
machinery  in  carrying  on  his  farm  work  and 
has  a  well  improved  property.  He  has  planted 
some  fruit  and  his  fields  are  richly  cultivated, 
returning  to  him  a  gratifying  harvest. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Burk  have  been  born  two 
children :  Clarence  and  Lucile.     Politically  Mr. 


Burk  is  a  stanch  republican  and  when  twenty- 
one  years  of  age  was  elected  school  inspector,  in 
which  capacity  he  served  for  several  years. 
Since  locating  on  the  farm  he  has  been  elected 
supervisor  and  by  re-election  has  continued  in 
the  office  for  six  years.  He  is  now  serving 
on  a  number  of  important  committees  on  the 
board  and  is  chairman  of  some  of  the  chief  com- 
mittees. He  has  frequently  been  chosen  as  a 
delegate  to  numerous  county  and  state  con- 
ventions and  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  party 
leaders  in  his  locality,  while  in  office  he  has 
always  been  loyal  to  the  public  good  and  has 
contributed  in  substantial  measure  to  the  general 
welfare  by  the  efficient  manner  in  which  he 
has  discharged  his  official  duties.  He  and  his 
wife  are  members  of  the  Evangelical  church  of 
Eureka,  take  an  active  interest  in  its  work  and 
Mr.  Burk  is  now  serving  as  superintendent  of 
the  Sunday-school,  in  which  capacity  he  has 
served  for  a  number  of  years.  His  efforts  in 
behalf  of  the  school  have  been  far-reaching  and 
beneficial.  He  belongs  to  Eureka  lodge,  A.  F. 
&  A.  M.,  and  is  its  present  master.  He  has 
also  been  its  representative  to  the  grand  lodge 
and  belongs  to  the  Woodmen  camp,  in  which  he 
has  been  venerable  consul  to  the  Grange  and  to 
the  Farmers'  Club.  He  has  a  wide  and  favor- 
able acquaintance  throughout  Clinton  county 
and  is  a  man  of  good  business  ability  and  ex- 
emplary habits.  His  efforts  have  been  of  ma- 
terial benefit  to  the  county  in  educational  and 
political  circles  and  his  name  commands  respect 
wherever  he  is  known. 


ADIN  W.  SKINNER. 


Adin  W.  Skinner,  formerly  interested  in  ag- 
ricultural pursuits  in  Bengal  township  and  now 
serving  as  county  treasurer  of  Clinton  county, 
was  born  in  Novi,  Oakland  county,  Michigan, 
March  15,  1857,  his  parents  being  Adin  C.  and 
Eliza  (Armstrong)  Skinner,  the  former  a  na- 
tive of  Wayne  and  the  latter  of  Oakland 
county,  Michigan,  a  fact  which  indicates  that 
in  both  the  paternal  and  maternal  lines  heJs 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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a  representative  of  pioneer  families  of  this 
state.  The  father  was  a  farmer  by  occupation 
and  at  the  time  of  the  Civil  war  he  responded  to 
the  country's  call  for  troops,  enlisting  as  a 
member  of  Company  I,  Twenty-seventh  Michi- 
gan Regiment.  On  the  6th  of  May,  1864,  m 
the  battle  of  the  Wilderness,  he  gave  his  life  in 
defense  of  the  Union  cause,  being  at  that  time 
only  twenty-nine  years  of  age.  His  widow, 
long  surviving  him,  passed  away  in  1873,  at 
the  age  of  fifty-five  years.  They  were  the  par- 
ents of  three  children :  Adin  W. ;  Eliza,  the 
wife  of  John  Stevens,  of  Oklahoma;  and  Jep- 
tha,  of  Janesville,  Wisconsin. 

Adin  W.  Skinner  pursued  his  education  in 
the  public  schools,  remaining  with  his  mother 
until  the  home  was  broken  up  at  the  time  of 
her  death  in  1873.  He  was  then  a  youth  of 
sixteen  years.  Being  thrown  upon  his  own  re- 
sources he  went  first  to  Oakland  county,  Michi- 
gan, where  he  remained  for  ten  years  and 
thence  came  to  Clinton  county.  On  attaining 
his  majority  he  began  farming  on  his  own  ac- 
count on  a  tract  of  land  of  eighty  acres  in  Ben- 
gal township.  This  was  in  1887.  He  still 
owns  the  land,  which  has  been  transformed 
into  a  good  farm,  and  he  continued  his  agri- 
cultural pursuits  until  called  to  public  office. 

Mr.  Skinner  has  always  been  an  advocate 
of  republican  principles,  firm  and  loyal  in  his 
support  of  the  party.  In  1896  he  was  elected 
supervisor  of  his  township  for  a  term  of  three 
years  and  was  also  clerk  for  two  years.  In 
1904  he  was  chosen  to-  the  office  of  county 
treasurer  of  Clinton  county,  receiving  a  major- 
ity of  over  twelve  hundred  votes  on  the  repub- 
lican ticket,  so  that  he  is  the  present  incumbent 
in  that  position. 

On  the  4th  of  January,  1877,  Mr.  Skinner 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Frances  Mur- 
dock,  a  daughter  of  John  and  Margaret 
(Clarke)  Murdock,  of  Oakland  county,  who 
were  natives  of  New  York  state.  They  came 
to  Michigan  in  1850  and  established  their  home 
in  Oakland  county.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Skinner  are 
well  known  in  St.  Johns  and  their  circle  of 
friends  is  constantly  growing.  He  is  a  member 
of  the  Maccabees  Tent  and  is  a  man  whose  ad- 


vancement in  life  has  been  secured  through 
his  own  efforts.  He  has  worked  his  way  up- 
ward from  a  humble  position  and  whatever 
success  or  advantages  he  has  enjoyed  are  at- 
tributable to  his  own  well  directed  labor.  He 
is  now  proving  a  capable  county  official  and 
the  concensus  of  public  opinion  regarding  his 
service  as  county  treasurer  is  very  favorable. 


FRED  C.  OPPENLANDER. 

Fred  C.  Oppenlander,  whose  well  developed 
farm  of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  is  an 
indication  of  an  active  life,  characterized  by 
unremitting  diligence  and  sound  business  judg- 
ment, was  born  in  Germany,  December  11, 
1854,  his  parents  being  John  and  Mary  (Stortz) 
Oppenlander,  who  were  likewise  natives  of  that 
country.  The  father  came  with  his  family  to 
the  United  States  in  1870,  first  locating  in 
Lansing  township,  Ingham  county,  Michigan, 
where  he  remained  for  six  months.  He  then 
removed  to  Dewitt  township,  Clinton  county, 
where  he  settled  on  a  farm  and  subsequently 
took  up  his  abode  on  the  eastern  boundary  line 
of  Watertown  township,  where  he  resided  until 
1 88 1.  In  that  year  he  removed  with  his  son, 
Fred  C.  Oppenlander,  to  the  latter's  farm  and 
resided  here  until  his  death,  which  occurred 
in  1888,  when  he  was  sixty-six  years  of  age. 
His  wife,  surviving  him  for  about  a  decade, 
passed  away  in  1898,  at  the  age  of  seventy-three 
years. 

Fred  C.  Oppenlander  acquired  his  education 
in  the  schools  of  his  native  country  and  with 
his  parents  came  to  Michigan  when  fifteen  years 
of  age.  He  afterward  worked  as  a  farm  hand 
by  the  month  for  eleven  years  and  then  desirous 
that  his  labors  should  more  directly  benefit  him- 
self he  rented  a  farm  in  Dewitt  township  for 
two  years.  About  that  time  he  was  married 
and  in  1881  he  purchased  his  present  farm  of 
eighty  acres  on  section  20,  in  Watertown  town- 
ship. He  first  bought  the  west  eighty  acres 
but  has  added  to  the  original  tract  until  he  now 
has  a  quarter  section.     He  has  improved  the 

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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


house  by  additions  and  repairs  until  it  is  now 
a  comfortable,  modern  residence  and  he  also 
built  a  good  barn  in  1893.  The  farm  is  well 
fenced,  is  equipped  with  modern  accessories  and 
conveniences  and  he  uses  the  latest  improved 
machinery  in  carrying  on  the  work  of  the 
fields. 

On  the  8th  of  November,  1881,  Mr.  Oppen- 
lander  was  married  to  Miss  Mary  Schray,  a 
daughter  of  Conrad  Schray,  of  Dewitt  town- 
ship" Clinton  county.  They  have  four  chil- 
dren, Anna,  Charles,  Mabel  and  Frank.  Mr. 
Oppenlander  is  a  member  of  the  Modern  Wood- 
men camp  and  his  religious  faith  is  indicated 
by  his  membership  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church.  In  politics  he  has  always  been  a 
stanch  republican  and  has  served  as  town- 
ship treasurer  for  two  years.  In  the  spring  of 
1890  he  was  elected  as  supervisor  and  has 
five  times  been  re-elected  to  the  office,  in  which 
he  is  the  present  incumbent,  acting  as  chairman 
of  the  board  at  this  writing  in  1905.  He  exer- 
cises his  official  prerogatives  in  support  of 
many  measures  for  the  general  good  and  his 
efforts  have  been  an  effective  force  in  promoting 
public  improvement.  He  is  thorough,  pro- 
gressive and  enterprising  both  in  public  life  and 
in  control  of  his  private  business  interests. 


REV.  JONATHAN  E.  RICHARDS. 

Rev.  Jonathan  E.  Richards,  a  distinguished 
divine  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  well  known 
throughout  Michigan,  was  born  near  Trenton, 
New  York,  in  1845.  His  parents,  Lewis  and 
Emeline  (Camp)  Richards,  were  natives  of 
Wales  and  crossing  the  Atlantic  in  early  life 
became  residents  of  the  state  of  New  York. 
The  father  purchased  a  farm  near  Trenton  and 
became  one  of  the  wealthy  agriculturists  of  that 
locality,  where  both  he  and  his  wife  spent  their 
remaining  days.  The  capable  management  of 
his  business  interests,  his  keen  discernment  and 
unflagging  energy  proved  the  basis  of  his  suc- 
cess and  made  him  a  wealthy  man. 

Rev.   Jonathan   E.   Richards,   reared   in  his 


native  county,  began  his  education  in  the  public 
schools  there  and  afterward  attended  the  Wes- 
leyan  University.  Subsequently  he  became  a 
student  in  Boston  Theological  Seminary  and 
afterward  entered  Yale  College,  thus  receiving 
superior  educational  facilities.  Having  pre- 
pared for  the  ministry  he  went  to  New  Haven, 
Connecticut,  where  he  took  charge  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church,  remaining  there 
for  three  years.  He  then  went  to  St.  Johns, 
Michigan,  where  he  accepted  the  pastorate  of 
the  Presbyterian  church,  remaining  in  charge 
at  that  place  for  eight  years.  Subsequently  he 
traveled  over  the  state  for  several  years,  de- 
livering lectures  and  winning  wide  fame  as  a 
platform  orator.  Eventually  he  settled  in  Mount 
Clemens,  where  for  three  years  he  was  pastor 
of  the  Presbyterian  church.  He  had  been  in 
ill  health  for  several  years  and  traveled  largely 
in  the  hope  of  being  benefited  thereby.  At 
length  his  health,  however,  forced  him  to  re- 
sign his  pastorate  but  he  continued  to  make  his 
home  in  Mount  Clemens  until  called  to  his  final 
rest. 

Rev.  Richards  was  married  in  Fulton,  New 
York,  to  Miss  Huldah  Loomis,  a  native  of 
that  place  and  a  graduate  of  the  Falley  Semi- 
nary at  Fulton,  of  the  class  of  1868.  The 
Loomis  family  were  the  first  to  locate  at  Fulton, 
and  Mrs.  Richards  is  a  member  of  the  Order  of 
Colonial  Dames  and  also  the  Daughters  of  the 
American  Revolution.  She  was  to  her  husband 
a  most  devoted  companion  and  helpmate  and 
since  his  death  she  has  displayed  splendid  busi- 
ness and  executive  force  at  the  same  time  pos- 
sessing those  true  womanly  traits  of  character 
that  have  endeared  her  to  all,  while  her  social 
qualities  have  made  her  a  leader  in  society  cir- 
cles here.  Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Richards  were 
born  four  children:  Anne,  the  eldest,  a  gradu- 
ate of  the  Michigan  University  of  Ann  Arbor, 
is  the  wife  of  Harry  Coleman,  who  was  also 
a  university  student  and  is  prominent  in  literary 
circles  in  Ann  Arbor.  He  is  now  the  owner 
and  publisher  of  the  Daily  Press  at  Pontiac, 
Michigan,  where  he  and  his  wife  reside.  He 
has  had  several  flattering  offers  to  return  to 
Ann  Arbor  and  take  charge  of  one  of  the  daily 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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papers  here  but  is  meeting  with  gratifying  suc- 
cess in  Pontiac  and  therefore  does  not  make  the 
change.     Florence  L.   Richards,  also  educated 
in  the  State  University,  is  now  a  teacher  in  the 
Shortridge  high  school  in  Indianapolis,  Indiana, 
and  the  superintendent  of  that  school  has  spoken 
of   her    as    its   best    teacher.      Lewis    L.    is   a 
talented  musician  now  studying  in  Europe.     A 
contemporary  publication  said  of  him :  "Lewis 
L.  Richards,  the  young  American,  who  has  won 
such  signal  honors  abroad,  evinced  at  an  early 
age  a  remarkable  musical  talent,  and  was  en- 
couraged by  several  eminent  teachers  to  make 
his  life  work  along  musical  lines.     His  early 
musical    education    was    received    from    Mrs. 
Boris  L.   Ganapol,  the  Detroit  pianist,  and  he 
later  studied  with  Alberto  Jonas,  while  attend- 
ing school  in  Ann  Arbor.     The  inspiration  and 
guidance  of  his  early  studies  followed  the  young 
man  through  his  whole  career  and  culminated 
in  1902  in  a  trip  abroad.    Young  Richards  ap- 
plied for  admission  to  the  private  class  of  De- 
Greef,  the  great  Belgian  pianist,  and  was  im- 
mediately accepted  and  continued  to  work  with 
that    great    master    for    one    year.     DeGreef 
greatly  encouraged  him  to  go  further,  and  chose 
him  as  one  of  six  young  men,  whom  he  se- 
lects each  year,   from  a  large  number  of  ap- 
plicants, for  his  class  in  the  Royal  Conservatory 
of  Music  located  at  Brussels,  Belgium.     Here 
Richards  continued  to  make  such  rapid  strides 
that  at  the  end  of  the  year,  he  was  the  only  one 
of  his  class  who  successfully  passed  the  rigid 
conservatory  examinations.     In  the  middle  of 
the  second  year  of  his  conservatory  work,  on 
a  visit  of  King  Leopard  to  the  institution,  young 
Richards  was  presented  to  his  majesty  as  "one 
of  the  most  gifted  pupils"   in  the  great  con- 
servatory.   At  the  end  of  the  year — June,  1905, 
— Richards  entered  the   conservatory  contests 
and    was    awarded    by    a    jury    composed    of 
Gaevaert,  director  of  the  Brussels  conservatory, 
Kozul,  director  of  the  conservatory  at  Roubaix, 
Ghymers,  Potjes,  Tinel,  etc.,  the  first  prize  with 
distinction,  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  that 
institution  that  an  American  had  captured  the 
honor.     Mr.   Richards  returned  to  Europe  in 
September  for  further  study  and  for  concert 
3 


work,  he  already  having  a  tour  arranged  for 
Belgium  and  Holland/'  Theodore  Nelson,  the 
youngest  member  of  the  Richards  family,  is 
now  a  student  in  the  high  school  of  Ann  Arbor 
and  resides  with  his  mother. 

Rev.  Richards  departed  this  life  on  the  1st 
of  October,  1893.  He  was  a  distinguished 
minister  and  a  prominent  citizen  of  Michigan, 
well  known  as  a  lecturer  throughout  the  state. 
His  scholarly  attainments  won  him  the  admira- 
tion of  all,  while  his  humanitarian  principles 
gained  him  the  love  and  esteem  of  his  fellow- 
men.  He  lived  for  others  and  his  devotion  to 
his  family  was  largely  ideal.  As  Mrs.  Richards 
intended  to  make  Ann  Arbor  her  future  home 
she  had  the  remains  of  her  husband  taken  there 
for  interment.  It  was  her  desire  to  have  her 
children  educated  in  Michigan  University  and 
in  1894  she  removed  from  Mount  Clemens  to 
Ann  Arbor  and  her  children  continued  their 
studies  there.  Mrs.  Richards  is  very  prominent 
in  social  circles,  being  recognized  as  a  leader 
by  reason  of  her  tact,  her  kindly  disposition, 
her  superior  culture  and  her  generous  hospital- 
ity. Moreover  she  possesses  splendid  business 
ability  and  has  made  judicious  investment  of 
her  means.  She  has  built  several  houses  and 
has  recently  erected  two  nice  residences  on  East 
Huron  street,  Ann  Arbor,  one  of  which  she 
has  sold,  while  the  other,  at  No.  713  East 
Huron  street,  she  and  her  children  now  occupy. 
She  has  every  reason  to  be  proud  of  her  family, 
for  all  have  attained  distinction  in  literary  or 
professional  circles,  and  the  influence  of  the 
members  of  the  Richards  family  has  ever  been 
on  the  side  of  intellectual  and  aesthetic  culture. 


WILLIAM  L.  TALLMAN. 

The  Tallman  family,  of  which  William  L. 
Tallman  is  a  representative,  is  of  Welsh  lineage 
and  the  family  was  established  in  New  Eng- 
land at  an  early  epoch  in  the  history  of  the 
new  world.  Elihu  Tallman  was  a  native  of 
Connecticut,  and  in  1788  removed  to  New 
York,  where  he  was  married  to  Miss  Lucretia 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Perkins,  a  native  of  that  state.  The  following 
year  he  went  to  Pennsylvania.  His  son,  Akins 
E.  Tallman,  father  of  our  subject,  was  born  in 
Wayne  county,  Pennsylvania,  in  1810,  and 
was  reared  in  that  state  upon  the  old  home- 
stead farm  in  the  midst  of  a  heavily  timbered 
country.  He  never  attended  school  after  eight 
years  of  age  and  his  educational  privileges 
were  therefore  very  limited  but  he  gained  good, 
practical  knowledge  in  the  school  of  experi- 
ence. He  remained  upon  the  home  farm  until 
he  had  attained  his  majority  and  on  the  27th 
of  May,  1832,  he  was  united  in  marriage  to 
Miss  Samantha  Dix,  who  was  of  Scotch  line- 
age and  was  also  a  native  of  Pennsylvania.  At 
the  age  of  twenty-six  years  Akins  E.  Tallman 
removed  to  Ohio  and  in  1854  came  to  Michi- 
gan, settling  in  Eagle  township,  Clinton 
county.  He  located  three  hundred  and  forty- 
four  acres  of  land  on  section  15,  of  which  two 
hundred  and  twenty-four  acres  is  now  owned 
by  his  son  William  L.  In  all  of  his  business 
affairs  he  was  practical,  enterprising  and  suc- 
cessful. He  had  been  the  owner  of  a  farm  of 
one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  in  Ohio  and  after 
his  removal  to  Michigan  he  lived  upon  the 
home  farm  on  section  15,  Victor  township,  un- 
til 1883,  when  he  removed  to  Grand  Ledge, 
Michigan.  He  was  a  man  of  marked  energy 
and  unfaltering  determination  as  is  indicated 
by  the  fact  that  in  early  life  he  earned  the 
money  with  which  he  paid  for  two  hundred  and 
forty  acres  of  land  in  Wayne  county,  Penn- 
sylvania, but  he  lost  this  through  a  defective 
title.  Following  his  arrival  in  this  state  he  se- 
cured three  hundred  and  forty-four  acres  from 
Miles  Mansfield  on  section  15,  Eagle  township, 
and  with  characteristic  energy  he  began  the  cul- 
tivation and  improvement  of  that  place.  This 
is  the  homestead  farm  now  owiied  and  occu- 
pied by  our  subject,  who  purchased  the  interest 
of  the  other  heirs  in  the  property.  Akins  E. 
Tallman  had  the  distinction  of  having  cleared 
five  hundred  acres  of  wild  land  and  thus  he 
contributed  in  substantial  measure  to  the  im- 
provement and  development  of  the  locality  in 
which  he  resided.  He  was  one  of  the  oldest 
Masons,  having  been  made  a  member  of  the 


fraternity  in  1866.  His  death  occurred  in 
1903,  at  the  age  of  ninety-two  years.  He  was 
a  trustworthy  man,  giving  his  attention  to  his 
own  affairs  and  so  directing  his  labors  that  as 
the  years  passed  he  won  a  comfortable  compe- 
tency. His  wife,  who  was  born  in  18 12,  died 
December  11,  1877.  Of  the  children  born  of 
that  marriage,  four  are  yet  living:  Jennie,  the 
wife  of  Isaac  Stark,  of  Grand  Ledge,  Michi- 
gan;  Louisa,  the  wife  of  E.  F.  Brown,  of 
Eagle  township ;  Christopher  C,  who  is  living 
at  North  Yamhill,  Oregon;  and  William  L.,  of 
this  review.  Those  who  have  passed  away  are 
Oliver  P.,  George  W.,  Minerva  J.,  Alpheus 
W.  and  Lawson  D.  After  losing  his  first  wife 
the  father  was  again  married,  his  second  union 
being  with  Sarah  Pennington,  who  died  in 
1901. 

William  L.  Tallman  was  born  in  Seneca 
county,  Ohio,  January  9,  1847,  and  pursued 
his  education  in  the  district  schools  and  in 
the  high  school  of  Lansing  and  of  Portland, 
Michigan.  Through  the  summer  months  he 
assisted  in  the  work  of  the  fields  and  meadows 
and  he  continued  upon  the  old  homestead  farm 
until  twenty-five  years  of  age,  when  he  took 
possession  of  a  farm  of  his  own  of  three  hun- 
dred acres,  upon  which  he  lived  for  two  years. 
He  then  sold  out  and  bought  the  interests  of 
the  other  heirs  in  the  homestead  farm,  thus 
becoming  owner  of  two  hundred  and  twenty- 
four  acres  on  section  15,  Eagle  township.  This 
property  is  under  a  fine  state  of  cultivation  at 
the  present  time.  Mr.  Tallman  has  worked 
out  his  own  success  by  diligence  and  careful 
management  and  is  to-day  one  of  the  prosper- 
ous and  prominent  agriculturists  of  Clinton 
county.  He  is  extensively  engaged  in  feeding 
sheep  and  his  stock-raising  and  farming  inter- 
ests are  both  proving  profitable. 

On  the  22d  of  October,  1872,  Mr.  Tallman 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Sarah  Adams, 
a  daughter  of  Joseph  H.  and  Hannah  Adams, 
of  Auburn,  New  York.  Their  children  are: 
Glenn  R,  who  died  November  12,  1886;  Grace 
E.,  the  wife  of  F.  S.  Byam,  of  Eagle  township; 
Matie  R,  at  home;  and  Molly  M.,  also  under 
the  parental  roof. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


39 


In  his  political  views  Mr.  Tallman  is  a  re- 
publican and  has  served  as  school  inspector  for 
two  years.  He  was  also  highway  commis- 
sioner for  four  years,  has  been  supervisor  of 
Eagle  township  since  1898  and  chairman  of 
the  board  for  one  year.  He  has  returned  to  the 
office  of  supervisor  each  year  with  increased 
majorities — a  fact  which  indicates  his  fidelity 
in  office,  the  trust  reposed  in  him  and  his  per- 
sonal popularity  with  his  fellowmen.  He  is 
especially  interested  in  the  welfare  and  prog- 
ress of  the  community  and  his  co-operation 
can  be  counted  upon  to  further  any  movement 
for  the  public  good.  He  belongs  to  Grand 
Ledge  lodge,  No.  79,  A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  with 
which  he  has  affiliated  since  twenty-one  years 
of  age  and  he  is  also  a  member  of  the  Grange. 
In  his  farm  work  he  is  enterprising  and  in- 
dustrious, making  the  most  of  his  opportuni- 
ties and  is  meeting  with  creditable  success. 


WARREN  SMITH  BARNARD. 

Warren  Smith  Barnard,  editor  and  publisher 
of  the  Maple  Rapids  Dispatch  of  Maple 
Rapids,  Clinton  county,  was  born  April 
17,  1876,  in  Delta  township,  Eaton 
county,  Michigan.  His  parents  were  Albert 
D.  and  Nellie  (Neff)  Barnard.  The 
father  followed  the  occupation  of  farming  un- 
til 1883,  when  he  engaged  in  lumbering,  while 
later  he  turned  his  attention  to  merchandising, 
which  he  followed  up  to  the  time  of  his  death 
in  December,  1894.  His  widow  still  survives 
and  makes  her  home  in  Durand,  Michigan. 
Daniel  Barnard,  the  grandfather  of  our  sub- 
ject, was  well  known  in  Eaton  county  and  vi- 
cinity as  a  Methodist  exhorter.  By  occupation 
he  was  a  farmer  and  for  many  years  he  owned 
and  cultivated  a  tract  of  land  near  Delta  Mills, 
Eaton  county,  where  his  death  occurred  about 
^873.  The  grandparents  on  both  sides  were 
natives  of  New  York. 

W.  S.  Barnard  attended  the  district  schools 
between  the  ages  of  seven  and  nine  years,  sub- 
sequent to  which  time  he  continued  his  educa- 


tion in  Maple  Rapids  and  in  Durand,  but  left 
school  after  reaching  the  ninth  grade.  At  that 
time  he  became  a  printer's  apprentice  and  later 
accepted  a  clerkship  in  a  clothing  store,  but 
the  printing  trade  had  stronger  attractions  for 
him  and  he  soon  returned  to  that  business, 
with  which  he  has  been  connected  in  One  or 
more  departments  to  the  present  time.  He  was 
three  years  of  age  when  his  parents  removed 
to  Fulton  township,  Gratiot  county,  Michigan, 
and  in  1883  ^s  father  sold  his  farm  there  and 
took  up  his  abode  at  a  lumbering  camp  on  the 
county  line  between  Lake  and  Newaygo  coun- 
ties, where  he  resided  for  about  a  year.  The 
next  home  of  the  family  was  at  Maple  Rapids, 
where  the  father  became  identified  with  the 
lumbering  firm  of  Jones,  Barnard  &  Company, 
and  in  the  fall  of  1890  the  company  established 
a  sawmill  and  oar  factory  at  Durand,  to  which 
place  the  Barnard  family  then  removed.  Mr. 
Barnard  of  this  review  attended  school  in  Dur- 
and for  two  or  three  years  but  he  disliked 
study  and  was  attracted  to  the  printer's  trade, 
to  which  he  gave  all  of  his  spare  time,  working 
at  nights  after  school  and  on  Saturdays  for 
the  pleasure  that  it  afforded  him.  After  several 
years  spent  in  the  office  of  the  Durand  Express 
he  left  home  for  the  first  time  and  went  to 
Laingsburg,  where  he  obtained  a  situation  in 
a  printing  office.  Subsequently  he  entered  the 
office  of  the  now  defunct  North  Lansing  Record 
and  in  April,  1897,  at  the  age  of  twenty-one 
years,  assumed  control  of  the  Maple  Rapids 
Dispatch,  which  he  has  since  published  with 
the  exception  of  a  few  months  spent  in  a  job 
office  in  St.  Paul,  Minnesota,  during  the  win- 
ter of  1 901. 

On  the  24th  of  November,  1898,  at  Maple 
Rapids,  Mr.  Barnard  was  married  to  Miss 
Daisy  M.  Hooker,  the  eldest  daughter  of 
Charles  and  Alvaretta  Hooker.  She  was  a  com- 
positor in  his  office  at  the  time  and  is  now  as- 
sociated with  her  husband  in  business.  Mr. 
Barnard  is  a  member  of  the  Knights  of  the 
Maccabees,  with  which  he  has  affiliated  for 
the  past  three  years,  and  he  is  also  a  member 
of  the  Brotherhood  of  Andrew  and  Philip.  He 
is  a  man  of  rather  a  retiring  disposition,  en- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


tirely  free  from  ostentation  and  disliking  pub- 
licity, but  in  his  business  career  he  has  dis- 
played qualities  that  lead  to  success  and  have 
made  him  a  capable  editor  in  the  publication 
of  the  Maple  Rapids  Dispatch. 


JUDGE  SHERMAN  B.  DABOLL. 

Judge  Sherman  B.  Daboll,  a  practitioner  at 
the  Clinton  county  bar  residing  at  St.  Johns, 
was  born  on  the  18th  of  May,  1844,  in  Nassau, 
New  York,  a  son  of  George  W.  and  Lydia 
(James)  Daboll.  The  ancestry  both  in  the 
lineal  and  collateral  lines  and  on  the  paternal 
and  maternal  sides  is  distinctively  American  as 
far  back  as  it  can  be  traced  and  both  the  father 
and  mother  were  descended  from  soldiers  of 
the  Revolutionary  war.  George  W.  Daboll  was 
a  farmer,  teacher  and  miller,  closely  associated 
with  the  industrial  and  intellectual  progress  of 
his  community. 

Sherman  B.  Daboll  pursued  his  education  in 
the  common  schools  of  Rensselaer  and  Madison 
counties,  New  York,  and  in  Brookfield 
Academy  at  Brookfield,  New  York.  When  he 
was  nine  years  of  age  the  home  was  broken  up 
owing  to  the  failure  of  the  mother's  health  and 
from  that  time  forward  Mr.  Daboll  made  his 
own  way  in  the  world,  working  on  farms 
through  the  summer  months  and  attending 
school  in  the  winter  seasons  until  fourteen  years 
of  age.  He  then  removed  from  Stephentown, 
New  York,  to  Brookfield,  where  he  was 
similarly  employed  until  his  enlistment  for 
service  in  the  Civil  war  on  the  28th  of  July, 
1862,  as  a  member  of  Company  G,  One  Hun- 
dred and  Seventeenth  Regiment  of  New  York 
Infantry,  which  he  joined  at  Clayville.  He 
served  first  as  private  and  afterward  as  cor- 
poral and  continued  with  his  regiment  until  the 
close  of  hostilities,  being  on  duty  with  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac  and  the  Army  of  the 
James.  He  was  at  Charleston  Harbor  during 
the  siege  of  Forts  Wagner  and  Sumter  and  par- 
ticipated in  the  campaign  of  Cold  Harbor  and 
the  sieges  of  Petersburg  and  Richmond.     He 


was  also  with  the  army  at  Dairy's  Bluff  and 
Bermuda  Hundred  and  was  with  both  expedi- 
tions to  Fort  Fisher,  North  Carolina.  His  regi- 
ment— the  One  Hundred  and  Seventeenth  New 
York — was  attached  to  the  First  Brigade  of  the 
Second  Division  of  the  Tenth  Army  Corps, 
leading  the  assault  on  that  fort  on  the  15th  of 
January,  1865,  which  resulted  in  its  capture, 
both  parties  being  in  the  fort  fighting  for  its 
possession  for  seven  hours.  By  reason  of  the 
close  of  the  war  Mr.  Daboll  was  honorably  dis- 
charged from  the  army  June  8,  1865.  He  had 
been  wounded  in  the  right  forearm  July  4, 
1864,  by  a  piece  of  shell  from  a  battery  near 
Petersburg,  Virginia,  while  in  the  siege  works 
outside  the  city.  It  was  feared  that  he  would 
have  to  lose  his  arm  but  it  was  finally  saved. 

Following  the  close  of  the  war  Mr.  Daboll 
took  up  the  study  of  law  in  Brookfield,  New 
York,  and  afterward  continued  as  a  student  in 
the  law  office  of  Bennett  &  Aylesworth  at  New 
Berlin,  Chenango  county,  New  York.  His 
reading  was  followed  by  his  admission  to  the 
bar  on  the  18th  of  November,  1868,  and  he 
located  for  practice  at  Brookfield,  where  he  re- 
mained until  1878.  He  made  consecutive 
progress  there  in  his  practice  and  in  1874  was 
elected  district  attorney  of  Madison  county, 
which  position  he  filled  for  three  years.  He 
entered  upon  the  practice  of  law  in  St.  Johns, 
Michigan,  in  the  spring  of  1879  m  company 
with  Anthony  Cook  and  has  since  been  con- 
nected with  the  courts  in  this  part  of  the  state, 
engaging  in  general  practice.  Military  and 
judicial  honors  have  been  accorded  him.  He 
was  appointed  quartermaster  general  of  the 
militia  of  Michigan  by  Governor  Cyrus  G. 
Luce  in  January,  1886,  and  was  re-appointed  in 
January,  1888.  In  August,  1888,  he  received 
appointment  from  Governor  Luce  to  the  posi- 
tion of  judge  of  the  twenty-ninth  judicial  cir- 
cuit of  Michigan  and  was  elected  the  next  spring 
to  the  same  office  for  the  unexpired  term  of 
three  and  a  half  years.  On  the  expiration  of 
that  period  he  was  elected  for  the  further  term 
of  six  years,  thus  serving  for  ten  and  a  half 
years  as  circuit  judge,  his  course  upon  the 
bench  being  distinguished  by  fairness  and  im- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


43 


partiality  and  a  masterful  grasp  of  the  various 
judicial  problems  presented  for  solution.  In 
the  convention  for  another  nomination  there 
was  a  deadlock  lasting  ten  days  and  the  con- 
vention closed  without  nominating.  On  the 
ist  of  January,  1901,  his  term  expired  and  he 
retired  from  the  office  and  on  the  15th  of  May 
following  he  was  appointed  a  special  agent  of 
the  postal  service,  a  position  which  he  still 
holds. 

Judge  Daboll  was  married,  August  19,  1869, 
at  New^  Berlin,  New  York,  to  Miss  Elizabeth 
Campbell,  who  is  descended  on  her  father's 
side  from  the  clan  Campbell  of  Scotland  and  on 
her  mother's  side  from  Governor  William 
Bradford,  Governor  of  the  Plymouth  colony  by 
his  second  marriage,  being  a  descendant  of  the 
eldest  son,  Major  William  Bradford.  Mrs. 
Daboll  is  a  representative  of  the  Bradford  fam- 
ily in  the  seventh  generation.  Judge  Daboll  has 
but  one  child,  a  daughter,  Winifred  Campbell 
Daboll,  born  September  29,  1873.  She  is  a 
graduate  of  the  Michigan  University  at  Ann 
Arbor,  having  completed  the  literary  course, 
winning  the  degrees  of  A.  B.  and  M.  A. 

Following  his  return  from  the  wfar  Judge 
Daboll  became  a  member  of  the  Loyal  Legion 
and  he  belongs  to  the  Ancient  Order  of  United 
Workmen  and  the  Masonic  fraternity,  in  which 
he  has  attained  the  Knight  Templar  degree. 
He  is  a  communicant  of  the  Protestant  Episco- 
pal church  and  has  always  been  a  republican  in 
politics,  in  former  years  taking  an  active  part  in 
every  campaign  and  addressing  large  audiences 
upon  political  themes  in  various  parts  of  the 
state. 


ELIJAH  W.   COBB. 


Elijah  W.  Cobb,  of  Elsie,  is  one  of  the  few 
remaining  early  settlers  of  Clinton  county.  He 
was  long  known  as  a  prominent  farmer  and 
business  man  of  varied  interests,  but  is  now 
living  retired  from  the  more  active  labors  and 
duties  of  farm  life.  He  took  up  his  residence 
in  Duplain  township  in  early  pioneer  days, 
having  made  his  home  in  this  part  of  the  state 


since  1844.  His  birth  occurred  in  the  town  of 
Bennington,  Wyoming  county,  New  York, 
June  18,  1829.  He  is  a  son  of  Joshua  Cobb 
and  a  brother  of  Lyman  Cobb.  The  father 
was  reared  in  New  York  and  was  married  there 
to  Miss  Anna  Doty.  He  followed  agricultural 
pursuits  in  the  Empire  state  and  at  a  later  date 
came  with  his  family  to  the  wrest,  settling  in 
Michigan  upon  the  land  where  his  son  now  re- 
sides. It  was  then  a  tract  of  unbroken  forest 
and  he  cut  down  the  trees,  cleared  away  the 
stumps  and  brush  and  in  due  course  of  time 
opened  up  a  good  farm,  on  which  he  spent  his 
remaining  days,  his  death  occurring  on  the  2d 
of  May,  1852.  He  donated  the  land  for  ceme- 
tery purposes  and  his  grave  was  the  first  one 
made  in  Elsie  cemetery.  His  wife  survived  him 
for  nearly  thirty  years  and  passed  away  in 
August,  1882. 

Elijah  W.  Cobb  w^as  reared  under  the  pa- 
rental roof  and  assisted  in  clearing  up  the  farm 
that  he  now  owrns,  having  one  hundred  acres  of 
rich  and  valuable  land  at  the  present  time.  He 
built  a  large  residence  and  barn  there  and  de- 
veloped the  place  as  it  is  to-day.  In  all  that  he 
undertakes  he  is  resolute  and  determined  and 
never  falters  before  he  has  reached  successful 
accomplishment.  At  one  time  he  was  engaged 
in  merchandising  at  Elsie,  becoming  owner  of 
a  good  hardware,  implement  and  grocery  busi- 
ness, which  he  conducted  for  a  number  of  years. 

In  Howell,  Livingston  county,  Michigan, 
Mr.  Cobb  w^as  married  on  the  14th  of  Novem- 
ber, 1855,  to  Miss  Ann  Sickles,  a  native  of 
Palmyra,  Wayne  county,  New  York,  born  May 
19,  1 83 1.  Her  father,  John  F.  Sickles,  was 
likewise  a  native  of  the  Empire  state  but  was 
born  in  Saratoga  county.  He  was  reared  in 
Palmyra  and  was  married  there  to  Miss  Betsy 
Smalley,  a  native  of  New  York.  Like  her  hus- 
band she  was  born  in  1792.  Mr.  Sickles  was 
a  farmer  of  Wayne  county,  where  he  resided 
until  1836,  when  he  removed  to  Wayne  county, 
Michigan,  settling  near  Detroit,  where  he  pur- 
chased a  farm,  upon  which  he  reared  his  fam- 
ily. He  died  there  in  1839.  Mrs.  Cobb  was 
educated  at  Northville  Academy  and  at  Ypsi- 
lanti  Normal  School  and  later  she  engaged  in 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


teaching  for  some  years,  following  that  pro- 
fession for  several  years  prior  to  her  marriage. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cobb  have  a  son  who  is  yet  liv- 
ing, Arthur  E.  Cobb,  who  is  a  farmer  now 
residing  on  the  old  family  homestead  in  this 
county.  He  is  married  and  has  three  chil- 
dren: William  Cobb,  who  is  an  operator  at 
Henrietta,  Michigan;  Francis,  a  student  in 
Alma  College;  and  Anna,  the  wife  of  Fred 
Jarvis,  of  Ovid.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cobb  also  have 
educated  and  reared  an  adopted  daughter, 
Grace,  who  is  now  the  wife  of  John  Seltering- 
ton,  of  Hamilton,  Gratiot  county,  Michigan. 
They  also  lost  three  children:  William  S.,  who 
died  at  the  age  of  eight  years ;  Gertrude,  about 
fourteen  months  old ;  and  Agnes,  an  infant. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Cobb  has  been  a 
lifelong  supporter  of  the  republican  party,  giv- 
ing unfaltering  allegiance  to  its  men  and 
measures.  He  served  as  town  treasurer  for 
some  years  and  was  also  postmaster  for  several 
years  but  has  never  been  an  active  politician  in 
the  sense  of  office  seeking.  He  and  his  wife  are 
members  of  the  Baptist  church  and  Mr.  Cobb 
belongs  to  the  Masonic  fraternity,  while  he  and 
his  wife  are  affiliated  with  the  Eastern  Star 
lodge.  He  has  always  been  a  busy  and  useful 
man  and  has  assisted  in  improving  Elsie  and 
Clinton  county.  Known  as  a  man  of  tried  in- 
tegrity and  worth,  he  enjoys  the  confidence  and 
esteem  of  all  with  whom  he  has  been  brought  in 
contact  and  as  a  pioneer  resident  of  this  locality 
certainly  deserves  mention  in  this  volume. 


DEAN  W.  KELLEY. 


Dean  W.  Kelley,  possessing  inherent  force 
of  character,  strong  and  determined  purpose 
which  enabled  him  to  acquire  an  education  in 
the  face  of  difficulties  and  is  now  the  source  of 
his  advancement  at  the  bar,  is  one  of  the 
younger  representatives  of  the  legal  fraternity 
and  yet  his  powers  do  not  seem  limited  by  his 
years.  He  was  born  July  n,  1876,  in  Osceola 
county  and  is  a   son  of   Samuel  and  Minnie 


(H^gadone)  Kelley,  the  former  a  native  of 
Clinton  county  and  the  latter  of  Mecosta  county, 
Michigan.  Both  are  residents  of  Evart,  the 
father  being  a  representative  farmer  of  his  lo- 
cality, Avhile  some  years  ago  he  was  a  successful 
lumberman.  The  Kelleys  came  originally  from 
Ontario,  while  the  Hagadone  family  was  es- 
tablished in  Pennsylvania  at  an  early  day  and 
was  represented  in  the  Revolutionary  war. 

Dean  W.  Kelley  spent  his  youth  upon  his 
father's  farm  in  Osceola  county,  improving  the 
advantages  afforded  by  the  public  schools  and 
when  sixteen  years  of  age  he  was  qualified  for 
teaching,  a  profession  which  he  followed  at 
intervals  for  a  number  of  years.  As  his  labors 
brought  sufficient  capital  to  meet  the  expense  of 
a  higher  educational  bourse  he  attended  the 
Evart  high  school  at  intervals  and  was  gradu- 
ated therefrom  with  the  class  of  1896,  com- 
pleting the  work  of  the  junior  and  senior  years 
in  one  year.  Subsequently  he  attended  the  State 
Normal  College  at  Ypsilanti,  Michigan,  from 
which  he  was  graduated  in  1899.  He  is  truly 
a  self-educated  man,  as  he  provided  the  funds 
for  tuition  and  other  expenses  of  his  college 
course.  His  scholarship  and  personal  popularity 
are  indicated  by  the  fact  that  he  was  chosen 
president  of  his  class  in  both  the  junior  and 
senior  years,  was  president  of  the  Athenaeum, 
the  literary  society  of  the  college,  for  three 
terms,  was  a  member  of  the  debating  team 
which  defeated  Albion  College  in  1899,  and 
won  the  oratorical  medal  in  1898. 

Mr.  Kelley's  choice  of  a  profession  fell  upon 
the  law  and  his  honors  in  debate  and  oratory 
would  seem  that  he  had  qualifications  that  would 
well  fit  him  for  work  at  the  bar.  In  1900  he 
entered  the  law  department  of  the  University  of 
Michigan,  but  his  collegiate  course  was  not  con- 
tinuous, as  in  1 90 1  he  came  to  St.  Johns  to  ac- 
cept the  position  of  instructor  in  English  and 
civics  in  the  high  school,  where  he  continued 
teaching  for  two  years.  He  resigned  in  1902, 
however,  in  order  to  take  the  state  bar  exami- 
nation, which  he  successfully  passed  with  a 
creditable  record.  He  then  opened  his  law 
office  in  St.  Johns,  where  he  has  since  practiced 
with  a  constantly  growing  clientage,  his  busi- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


47 


ness  increasing  yearly  both  in  volume  and  im- 
portance. 

Mr.  Kelley  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  lead- 
ers among  the  younger  advocates  of  the 
democracy.  He  is  a  student  of  the  questions 
of  the  day,  thoroughly  informed  concerning  the 
great  political  principles  which  are  working  for 
the  weal  or  woe  of  the  nation.  He  is  not  bit- 
terly partisan  and  yet  he  stands  firm  in  support 
of  his  convictions.  Only  once  has  he  been  a 
candidate  for  office,  having  in  1904  received  his 
party's  nomination  for  prosecuting  attorney,  at 
which  time  he  made  a  phenomenal  race.  He 
won  the  entire  party's  support  and  many  of  the 
votes  which  usually  go  to  the  republican  can- 
didates, for  he  was  defeated  by  an  extremely 
small  majority  and  he  carried  his  home  city  of 
St.  Johns  by  one  hundred  and  fifty.  His  study 
of  the  signs  of  the  times  has  led  him  to  be- 
come a  supporter  of  the  present  presidential  ad- 
ministration. 

On  the  25th  of  December,  1901,  Mr.  Kelley 
was  married  to  Miss  Thurza  Mae  Judd,  a 
daughter  of  George  H.  Judd,  a  pioneer  of  St. 
Johns,  and  they  have  one  daughter,  Gwendolyn 
J.  Mr.  Kelley's  position  socially  and  profes- 
sionally is  the  outcome  of  personal  worth,  his 
advancement  at  the  bar  resulting  from  close 
application,  laudable  ambition  and  untiring  de- 
votion to  his  clients'  interests. 


JACOB  F.  SHRAFT. 


Jacob  F.  Shraft,  for  years  one  of  the  active 
business  men  and  leading  citizens  of  Fowler, 
who  has  figured  not  only  in  industrial  and  com- 
mercial circles  but  also  in  political  life  in  Clin- 
ton county,  was  born  in  Livingston  county, 
Michigan,  May  17,  1837.  His  father,  Jacob 
Shraft,  Sr.,  was  a  native  of  Germany  and  was 
there  reared  and  educated.  Following  his 
marriage  he  emigrated  to  the  new  world,  be- 
coming a  resident  of  Livingston  county,  Michi- 
gan, in  1830,  Avhen  this  commonwealth  was 
still  under  territorial  rule.  He  later  removed 
to  Wayne  county,  where  he  located  on  a  farm 


that  continued  to  be  his  home  throughout  his 
remaining  days. 

Jacob  F.  Shraft  of  this  review  largely  spent 
his  youth  in  Detroit,  living  there  between  the 
age  of  seven  and  eighteen  years.  After 
putting  aside  his  text-books  he  learned  the  car- 
penter's and  joiner's  trade  and  in  1857  he  ca™e 
to  Clinton  county  and  was  employed  at  car- 
pentering in  Clinton  and  Ionia  counties  for 
a  number  of  years,  being  connected  with  the 
building  of  a  number  of  leading  structures 
in  this  part  of  the  state.  He  was  also  engaged 
in  buying  and  dealing  in  staves  for  nine  years 
and  in  1866  he  bought  out  a  general  mercan- 
tile business  in  Fowler  and  subsequently 
started  a  hardware  store.  He  continued  as  one 
of  the  active  and  enterprising  merchants  of  the 
village  until  1893,  covering  a  period  of  twenty- 
seven  years,  during  which  time  a  liberal  pat- 
ronage was  accorded  him.  He  made  a  close 
study  of  the  needs  and  wishes  of  the  public 
and  by  his  earnest  desire  to  please  his  patrons 
and  his  fair  and  honorable  dealing  built  up  a 
business  which  in  extent  and  importance  made 
his  trade  very  profitable. 

In  the  midst  of  an  active  mercantile  enter- 
prise Mr.  Shraft  also  found  time  to  serve  in 
positions  of  public  trust.  In  1874  he  was  elected 
register  of  deeds  and  filled  the  office  for  one 
term.  In  1882  he  was  chosen  county  clerk 
and  has  served  as  township  clerk  since  1866, 
being  the  present  efficient  officer.  He  has  like- 
wise been  village  clerk  for  ten  years  and  in  all 
these  different  positions  he  has  proved  capable 
and  loyal,  discharging  his  duties  with  prompt- 
ness and  fidelity. 

Mr.  Shraft  was  married  in  Detroit  to  Miss 
Mary  F.  Davenport,  who  was  reared  in  Dallas 
township,  Clinton  county.  She  died  May  12, 
1893,  leaving  a  son,  Charles  E.  Shraft,  who  is 
now  pursuing  a  course  in  civil  engineering. 

Mr.  Shraft  is  a  prominent  member  of  St. 
Johns  lodge,  A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  also  of  the  chap- 
ter and  commandery  there,  and  has  thus  at- 
tained the  Knight  Templar  degree  of  the  York 
rite.  He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Ancient  Or- 
der of  United  Workmen,  a  fraternal  insurance 
organization.     For  a  half  century  he  has  wit- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


nessed  the  growth  and  development  of  Clinton 
county  and  is  widely  known  throughout  his 
community  as  a  man  of  business  integrity  and 
worth  who  owes  his  advancement  not  to  any 
fortunate  combination  of  circumstances  but  to 
his  close  application  and  diligence  and  in  an 
active  business  career  he  has  found  that  unre- 
mitting industry  will  solve  the  problem  of  how 
to  win  success. 


ROSWELL  C.  DEXTER. 

Roswell  C.  Dexter,  who  for  sixteen  years 
has  been  connected  with  the  First  National 
Bank  of  St.  Johns,  occupying  the  position  of 
cashier  for  two  years,  was  born  in  Greenbush, 
Michigan,  October  16,  1859,  His  father, 
Chauncey  Dexter,  was  a  native  of  New  York 
and  at  an  early  period  in  the  settlement  of 
Michigan  came  to  this  county,  establishing  his 
home  in  Greenbush.  He  married  Miss  Lydia 
Broughan,  who  was  born  in  Ohio,  and  both 
have  now  passed  away,  the  father's  death  hav- 
ing occurred  in  1886,  when  he  was  fifty-three 
years  of  age,  while  his  wife  died  when  their  son 
Roswell  was  only  nine  years  of  age.  Having 
come  to  the  west,  Chauncey  Dexter  secured  a 
tract  of  land  and  lived  the  quiet  life  of  a 
farmer.  In  his  family  were  two  sons  and  a 
daughter :  Roswell  C. ;  Mary,  now  deceased  ; 
and  Burr,  who  is  living  upon  the  homestead 
farm  at  Greenbush. 

Roswell  C.  Dexter  is  indebted  to  the  com- 
mon schools  for  the  early  educational  advan- 
tages which  he  enjoyed  and  later  he  had  the 
privilege  of  attending  the  Albion  College,  at 
Albion,  Michigan,  for  two  years,  completing 
his  course  there  in  1882.  He  then  came  to  St. 
Johns,  Michigan,  to  enter  upon  his  business 
career  and  secured  a  position  as  bookkeeper  in 
the  First  National  Bank.  His  capability  and 
fidelity,  however,  won  him  recognition  in  suc- 
cessive promotions  and  he  was  made  teller  and 
afterward  assistant  cashier,  acting  in  the  latter 
capacity  for  sixteen  years,  when  in  April, 
1903,  he  was  chosen  cashier.  In  1885  the  name 


of  the  institution  on  the  expiration  of  the  old 
charter  was  changed  to  St.  Johns  National 
Bank.  The  Clinton  County  Savings  Bank  was 
organized  out  of  this  bank  in  1889  and  it  is 
the  largest  bank  of  this  character  in  the  county, 
being  devoted  to  savings  and  investments.  Mr. 
Dexter  is  also  financially  interested  in  that  in- 
stitution. He  is  a  man  of  much  practical  ex- 
perience, conservative  in  his  views,  of  sound 
judgment  and  unquestioned  integrity,  and  the 
prominent  position  which  he  occupies  to-day  in 
business  circles  in  St.  Johns  is  the  merited  re- 
ward of  his  earnest  application,  ability  and 
fidelity. 

In  1886  occurred  the  marriage  of  Roswell 
C.  Dexter  and  Miss  Jennie  D.  Davies,  a  daugh- 
ter of  William  T.  and  Jenette  M.  (Levey)  Day- 
ies,  of  Greenbush.  They  have  two  children, 
Florence  J.  and  Robert  C,  and  the  social  prom- 
inence of  the  family  is  that  which  is  obtained 
where  intellect,  culture  and  true  worth  are  re- 
ceived as  the  passports  into  good  society.  Mr. 
Dexter  is  a  prominent  member  of  the  various 
Masonic  bodies  of  St.  Johns,  belonging  to  the 
lodge,  chapter  and  council,  and  he  also  holds 
membership  with  Detroit  commandery  and  the 
Mystic  Shrine.  Viewed  in  a  personal  light  he 
is  a  strong  man,  strong  in  his  ability  to  plan 
and  perform,  strong  in  his  honor  and  has  a 
good  name. 


JAMES  HOUGHTON. 

Bath  township  finds  a  worthy  representative 
of  its  farming  interests  in  James  Houghton, 
whose  realty  holdings  include  eighty  acres  on 
sections  1  and  12.  He  was  born  in  Oakland 
county,  this  state,  May  12,  1838.  His  father, 
Daniel  Houghton,  was  a  native  of  Vermont 
and  spent  the  days  of  his  childhood  and  youth 
in  New  England  but  when  a  young  man  re- 
moved from  the  Green  Mountain  state  to  Al- 
bany, New  York,  in  which  city  he  was  married 
to  Miss  Lydia  Cutler,  a  native  of  New  York.  In 
the  year  1834  Mr.  Houghton  came  to  the  mid- 
dle west  attracted  by  the  opportunities  which 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


49 


he  believed  Michigan  offered  to  settlers.  He 
located  in  Oakland  county,  where  he  entered 
one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  that  was 
still  in  its  primitive  condition  but  he  at  once 
began  to  clear  away  the  timber  and  in  the 
course  of  time  the  sunlight  flooded  the  fields 
and  rich  harvests  were  eventually  gathered  as 
a  reward  for  the  spring  planting.  He  raised 
his  family  upon  that  farm  and  made  it  his 
home  until  his  life's  labors  were  ended  in  death 
in  1869.  His  wife  survived  him  for  about 
twenty-two  years. 

James  Houghton,  one  of  a  family  of  three 
sons  and  one  daughter,  was  reared  upon  the 
old  homestead  in  Oakland  county  and  did  his 
full  share  in  clearing  the  fields  and  carrying  on 
the  work  of  the  farm,  his  practical  experience 
in  youth  enabling  him  to  carefully  direct  his 
own  farming  interests  in  later  years.  He  had 
fair  common-school  advantages  and  has  al- 
ways added  to  his  knowledge  by  observation, 
reading  and  experience,  thus  keeping  in  touch 
with  the  world's  progress. 

On  the  2d  of  January,  i860,  Mr.  Houghton 
was  united  in  marriage  in  his  native  county 
to  Miss  Mary  E.  Tillapaugh,  who  was  also  born 
in  Oakland  county,  Michigan.  Following  his 
marriage  Mr.  Houghton  carried  on  farming 
in  Oakland  county  for  a  number  of  years  but 
thought  that  a  removal  to  Clinton  county 
might  prove  advantageous  and  in  1875  ne 
bought  a  place  on  section  12,  Bath  township. 
Here  he  began  the  further  development  and 
improvement  of  the  land  and  erected  a  neat 
and  substantia]  residence,  also  good  outbuild- 
ings. There  he  carried  on  farming  until 
1891,  when  he  purchased  his  present  home  on 
section  1,  Bath  township. 

Mr.  Houghton  was  again  married  in  this 
township  on  the  4th  of  November,  1892,  to  a 
widow,  Mrs.  Julia  Brown,  a  native  of  the  state 
of  New  York  and  a  daughter  of  Eleazer  Cross, 
of  the  Empire  state,  who  became  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Michigan.  In  New  York  he 
had  married  Mariet  Day  and  their  daughter, 
Mrs.  Houghton,  was  reared  in  this  state.  She 
first  gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to  Ross  Brown, 
who  was  born  in  Lenawee  county,  Michigan, 


and  who  settled  on  a  farm  on  section  13,  Bath 
township,  this  county,  where  he  died  Decem- 
ber 14,  1884.  There  were  three  children  by 
that  marriage:  William,  Elmer  and  Cory 
Brown.  Mr.  Houghton  had  four  sons  by  his 
first-  marriage:  Daniel,  John,  William  and 
James,  all  of  whom  are  now  married,  three  be- 
ing residents  of  Chicago. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Houghton  was 
formerly  a  democrat  but  now  endorses  repub- 
lican principles  and  votes  for  the  men  and 
measures  of  the  party.  His  attention,  how- 
ever, has  been  concentrated  upon  his  business 
interests,  which  have  been  an  appreciable  fac- 
tor in  winning  him  success. 


HERBERT  N.  SWANEY,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Herbert  N.  Swaney,  engaged  in  the 
practice  of  medicine  at  Eagle,  is  a  native  of 
Crawford  county,  Pennsylvania,  born  Decem- 
ber 19,  1858,  his  parents  being  Hugh  J.  and 
Juliette  (Groger)  Swaney,  the  former  a  native 
of  Pennsylvania,  and  the  latter  of  New  York. 
They  largely  spent  their  lives  in  Crawford 
county  and  both  have  now  passed  away.  The 
father  was  a  valiant  soldier  of  the  Civil  war, 
serving  in  Company  I,  of  the  Eighty-third 
Pennsylvania  Infantry  and  was  wounded  at 
the  battle  of  Fair  Oaks.  He  was  descended 
from  Irish  ancestry,  while  his  wife  was  of 
Scotch  lineage.  In  their  family  were  only  two 
children  but  Albert,  the  elder,  died  in  infancy. 

Herbert  N.  Swaney  began  his  education  in 
the  district  schools  of  his  native  town  and 
afterward  attended  the  State  Normal  School 
at  Edinboro,  Pennsylvania,  and  Allegheny 
College  at  Meadville,  Pennsylvania.  Subse- 
quently^ he  entered  the  University  of  Pennsyl- 
vania at  Philadelphia  in  1881  and  was  gradu- 
ated with  the  class  of  1885,  having  completed 
a  course  of  medicine  in  that  institution.  He 
added  to  his  theoretical  knowledge  the  prac- 
tical training  of  one  year's  experience  in  the 
Jewish  hospital  at  Philadelphia,  after  which  he 
opened  an  office  for  practice  at  Crossingville, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Crawford  county.  He  spent  the  succeeding 
two  years  in  his  native  state  and  in  the  spring 
of  1888  came  to  Eagle,  Clinton  county,  where 
he  has  since  engaged  in  practice  with  the  ex- 
ception of  the  year  1894,  when  he  was  a  stu- 
dent in  the  Philadelphia  Polyclinic  and  College 
for  Graduates  in  Medicine,  completing  his 
course  there  on  the  26th  of  January,  1895.  He 
thus  greatly  promoted  his  efficiency  and  he  has 
further  added  to  his  knowledge  by  study  and 
investigation,  keeping  in  touch  with  the  ad- 
vance of  thought  of  the  profession  as  the  years 
have  gone  by.  He  has  given  his  attention  to 
general  practice  in  Eagle  township  and  has 
been  unusually  successful,  the  consensus  of 
public  opinion  regarding  his  skill  as  extremely 
favorable  and  a  liberal  patronage  is  accorded 
him.  He  belongs  to  the  American  Medical 
Association  and  practices  along  modern  sci- 
entific lines  that  bring  desired  results. 

Dr.  Swaney  was  married  in  1887,  to  Miss 
Jessie  M.  Davis,  a  daughter  of  James  and  Eliz- 
abeth Davis,  of  Crossingville,  Pennsylvania. 
She  died  in  1890,  and  en  the  25th  of  April, 
1894,  Dr.  Swaney  was  married  to  Miss  Nettie 
L.  Alexander,  a  daughter  of  Hon.  Sidney  and 
Mary  (Van  Slyke)  Alexander.  They  have  one 
child,  Bruce  Alexander.  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Swa- 
ney have  a  wide  and  favorable  acquaintance  in 
this  part  of  the  state  and  enjoy  in  large  meas- 
ure the  friendship  of  those  with  whom  they 
have  been  brought  in  contact.  He  is  identified 
with  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows 
but  his  attention  is  chiefly  given  to  his  profes- 
sional duties,  wherein  his  labors  have  been  of 
marked  value  to  his  fellowmen  as  well  as  a 
source  of  gratifying  income  to  himself. 


SAMUEL  E.  GILLAM,  M.  D.., 

Dr.  Samuel  E.  Gillam  is  a  successful  physi- 
cian and  surgeon  of  St.  Johns  who  for  many 
years  has  enjoyed  a  large  and  lucrative  practice 
here.  His  grandfather,  John  Gillam,  a  native 
of  Ontario,  Canada,  removed  from  the  Do- 
minion to  the  state  of  New  York  and  was  mar- 


ried near  Palmyra,  after  which  he  came  to 
Michigan  in  1833,  settling  in  Ingham  county  as 
one  of  its  pioneer  residents.  He  secured  new 
and  unbroken  land  in  White  Oak  township  and 
in  the  midst  of  the  green  woods  built  a  log 
cabin  around  which  he  cleared  and  developed 
a  farm  of  two  hundred  and  twenty  acres.  Pos- 
sessing considerable  mechanical  ingenuity  and 
having  been  trained  along  these  lines  he  built  a 
blacksmith  shop  and  worked  at  his  trade  in 
connection  with  the  prosecution  of  his  agricul- 
tural interests.  He  died  at  the  age  of  fifty-five 
years,  while  his  wife  passed  away  in  Fowler- 
vi lie,  Michigan,  in  1866,  at  the  advanced  age 
of  eighty-seven  years.  She  belonged  to  the 
Everett  family  of  New  York  and  her  brother, 
Samuel  Everett,  was  one  of  the  contractors  and 
builders  of  the  Erie  canal. 

George  W.  Gillam,  a  son  of  John  Gillam,  was 
born   at   Orchard   Creek,   near   Palmyra,   New 
York,  and  was  a  young  lad  when  brought  by 
his  parents  to  Michigan,  where  he  was  reared 
upon  the  home   farm.     He  learned  the  black- 
smith's trade  under  the  direction  of  his  father, 
whom  he  also  assisted  in  the  work  of  the  fields, 
and  when  he  had  attained  his  majority  he  locat- 
ed in  Plainfield,  where  he  conducted  a  shop  un- 
til 1867.  He  then  removed  to  Elsie,  Michigan, 
and  later  to  Fowler,  where  he  engaged  in  gen- 
eral merchandising.     Subsequently  he  took  up 
his  abode  in  Ovid,  where  he  continued  business 
as  a  general  merchant  until  1889.     In  that  year 
he  sold  out  and  came  to  St.  Johns,  retiring  from 
active  business  pursuits.     He  has  been  promi- 
nent in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church  and  as 
the  promoter  of  moral  development  has  gained 
special  prominence,  his  efforts  being  untiring  in 
behalf   of   religious   work.     He   married   Miss 
Margaret  Turner,  a  native  of  Ontario,  Canada, 
and  a  daughter  of  John  Turner,  who  was  a  na- 
tive of  Scotland  and  was  educated  for  the  Pres- 
byterian ministry.     Crossing  the  Atlantic  to  the 
new   world  he   located   in   Canada   and   subse- 
quently came  to  Michigan,  where  he  united  with 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church.     He  was  then 
pastor  of  different  congregations   of  that   de- 
nomination   in    Michigan,    in    Indiana    and    in 
Illinois,  and  his  last  days  were  spent  in  Illinois. 


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His  wife  bore  the  family  name  of  Boise  and 
was  born  in  Ireland.  Her  father  was  the 
founder  of  a  plant  for  the  manufacture  of  linen 
goods  at  Montreal,  Canada,  and  was  a  very 
prominent  citizen  there.  The  family  name  in 
early  generations  was  spelled  Du  Boise,  and 
undoubtedly  the  ancestors  many  generations  ago 
were  from  France.  Dr.  Gillam  of  this  review 
is  the  eldest  of  the  three  children  of  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  George  W.  Gillam,  his  sister  being  Mrs. 
Anna  E.  Doolittle,  of  Owasso,  Michigan,  and 
Bertie,  who  died  in  infancy. 

Dr.   Gillam,   born   in   White  Oak   township, 
Ingham  county,  Michigan,  April  26,  1845,  was 
reared  in  Plainfield,   Livingston  county,   from 
the  age  of  eleven  years.     He  was  afforded  good 
educational  privileges  and  his  love  of  study  sup- 
plementing an  apt  mind  enabled  him  to  enter 
the  Michigan  State  Normal  School  at  Ypsilanti 
when  about  fifteen  years  of  age.     He  remained 
a  student  there  for  two  years.     Following  the 
completion  of  his  literary  education  he  engaged 
in  teaching   for  several  years,  being  a   repre- 
sentative of  that  profession  in  both  the  district 
and  graded  schools.     From  his  youth  he  was 
desirous  of  studying  medicine  and  at  the  age  of 
eighteen  he  began  reading  in  the  office  of  Dr. 
P.  L.  Schuyler,  of  Iosco,  Michigan.    He  did  not 
abandon  his  labors  as  a  teacher,  however,  dur- 
ing this  time  but  pursued  his  studies  in  connec- 
tion with  his  work  in  the  schoolroom  until  1866, 
when  he  matriculated  in  the  medical  department 
of  the  University   of  Michigan,   working  his 
way  through  that  institution.     He  was  gradu- 
ated  in    1869   witn  tne  degree  of  Doctor  of 
Medicine,  and  at  once  entered  upon  practice  in 
Elsie,  Clinton  county,  where  he  remained  until 
1877,  when  he  went  to  New  York  for  a  clinical 
course  in  the  Bellevue  Hospital  Medical  College, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  in  March,  1878. 
Returning  to  Elsie,  Dr.  Gillam  practiced  at 
that  place  until  1879,  when  he  opened  an  office 
in  St.  Johns  and  in  the  years  that  have  since 
come  and  gone  he  has  built  up  a  large  practice, 
winning  a  reputation  that  places  him  in  the  front 
ranks  of  the  medical  fraternity.     His  growing 
practice  made  it  desirable  that  he  have  a  partner 
and  in  1904  he  admitted  Dr.  Walter  M.  Scott 


to  a  partnership  under  the  firm  style  of  Gillam 
&  Scott.  He  has  been  surgeon  of  the  Detroit, 
Grand  Haven  &  Milwaukee  Railroad  for  many 
years,  has  been  president  of  the  United  States 
board  of  pension  examiners  of  St.  Johns,  be- 
ginning in  1886,  and  since  1873  he  has  been  con- 
nected with  the  State  Medical  Society.  He  has 
also  been  president  of  the  Clinton  County  Medi- 
cal Society,  which  he  assisted  in  organizing.  Of 
late  years  he  has  devoted  a  great  deal  of  his 
time  to  both  abdominal  and  general  surgery,  and 
his  skill  as  an  operator  has  given  him  a  reputa- 
tion as  a  surgeon  seldom  attained  by  a  man  in 
a  small  city. 

On  the  2d  of  April,  1872,  Dr.  Gillam  was 
married  to  Miss  Rose  A.  Finch,  a  native  of 
Williams  county,  Ohio,  and  a  daughter  of 
Peter  Finch,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Clinton 
county.  She  was  a  well  educated  lady  of  natural 
culture  and  refinement  and  was  a  successful 
teacher  prior  to  her  marriage.  Her  death  oc- 
curred January  14,  1905.  Dr.  Gillam  has  a 
fine  property  in  St.  Johns  and  owns  real  estate 
in  various  places.  He  belongs  to  the  Masonic 
fraternity,  connected  with  the  lodge,  chapter  and 
commandery,  and  is  also  identified  with  other 
fraternal  organizations.  Calling  forth  all  his 
latent  powers  and  energies  in  the  acquirement 
of  an  education,  he  prepared  for  his  profession 
in  the  face  of  obstacles  which  would  have  de- 
terred many  a  man  of  less  resolute  spirit  but 
which  seemed  to  serve  him  as  an  impetus  for 
renewed  effort.  Consecutive  advancement  has 
marked  his  entire  professional  career  whether 
in  the  schoolroom  or  in  the  practice  of  medicine 
and  surgery  and  he  stands  to-day  as  one  of  the 
oldest  and  most  honored  physicians  of  St.  Johns, 
having  an  extensive  practice  which  is  the  mer- 
ited tribute  of  his  skill  and  is  an  indication  of 
the  confidence  reposed  in  him  by  the  general 
public. 


F.  B.  SMITH. 


F.  B.  Smith,  residing  on  section  34,  Victor 
township,  has  a  large  circle  of  warm  friends 
by  Avhom  he  is  familiarly  called  Frank.     He 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


owns  and  operates  a  farm  of  one  hundred  and 
forty  acres  which  in  its  neat  and  attractive  ap- 
pearance is  indicative  of  his  careful  supervision. 
He  was  born  in  Lenawee  county,  Michigan, 
April  17,  1862,  and  is  a  son  of  Peter  Smith, 
who  was  born  in  Germany,  November  2,  1830, 
and  was  reared  to  manhood  there.  When  a 
young  man  of  nineteen  years  he  came  to  the 
new  world,  first  locating  in  New  York.  This 
was  in  1849  and  he  resided  in  the  Empire  state 
for  four  or  five  years,  after  which  he  came  to 
Michigan  in  1854.  He  lived  in  Wayne  county 
for  a  few  years,  following  farming  near  De- 
troit, and  later  took  up  his  abode  in  Lenawee 
county,  where  he  met  and  married  Miss  Louisa 
Fisher,  a  native  of  England  and  a  daughter  of 
James  Fisher,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of 
Lenawee  county.  Mr.  Smith  was  a  farmer  of 
Lenawee  county  for  a  number  of  years  and  in 
1866  removed  to  Clinton  county,  locating  in 
Bath  township,  where  he  still  owns  and  con- 
ducts a  farm. 

F.  B.  Smith  was  reared  to  manhood  in  the 
county  of  his  nativity  and  is  indebted  to  the 
common-school  system  of  Bath  township  for  the 
educational  privileges  he  received.  In  the 
months  of  summer  he  aided  in  the  tilling  of  the 
soil  and  the  care  of  the  crops  but  in  early  man- 
hood began  learning  the  trade  of  a  carpenter  and 
joiner,  which  he  followed  for  a  few  years.  Sub- 
sequent to  his  marriage,  however,  he  resumed 
farming  in  Bath  township,  where  he  remained 
for  two  years,  and  in  1890  he  purchased  forty- 
five  acres  where  he  now  resides.  This  he  be- 
gan to  develop  and  improve  and  as  the  years 
have  gone  by  and  prosperity  has  attended  his 
efforts  he  has  extended  the  boundaries  of  his 
farm  until  he  now  owns  one  hundred  and  forty 
acres  all  in  one  body.  He  likewise  owns  a 
tract  of  twenty  acres  elsewhere.  He  has  re- 
cently completed  an  attractive  residence,  built  in 
modern  style  of  architecture  and  tastefully 
furnished.  *  In  the  rear  is  a  good  basement 
barn  and  windpump,  together  with  other  equip- 
ments which  indicate  the  owner  to  be  thor- 
oughly in  touch  with  modern  business  methods 
along  agricultural  lines.  The  farm  is  well 
fenced  and  divided  into  fields  of  convenient  size 


and  there  is  an  excellent  orchard  which  yields 
its  fruits  in  season. 

Mr.  Smith  was  married  in  Bath  township, 
October  24,  1888,  to  Miss  Nettie  Harris,  a 
daughter  of  Abram  Harris,  who  is  mentioned 
elsewhere  in  this  volume.  They  have  three  sons, 
Earl  T.,  Ward  A.  and  Hewitt  M.  Mr.  Smith 
holds  membership  in  the  Masonic  lodge  at 
Laingsburg  and  has  also  taken  the  Royal  Arch 
degree,  while  both  he  and  his  wife  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Eastern  Star.  His  political  al- 
legiance is  given  to  the  democracy  and  he  has 
served  as  highway  commissioner  for  two  terms 
and  for  a  long  period  has  been  a  member  of 
the  school  board,  doing  effective  service  in  be- 
half of  public  education.  When  he  started  out 
in  life  for  himself  he  was  a  poor  man  empty- 
handed  and  without  capital,  but  his  own  labor 
and  enterprise  have  stood  him  in  place  of  in- 
herited fortune  or  the  assistance  of  influential 
friends  and  he  is  now  a  prosperous  agriculturist 
of  Victor  township,  whose  good  business  ability 
and  successful  accomplishment  inspire  the  con- 
fidence and  awaken  the  admiration  of  all  who 
know  aught  of  his  business  career. 


CLARK  A.  PUTT. 


Clark  A.  Putt,  formerly  identified  with  the 
commercial  interests  of  St.  Johns  and  now  fill- 
ing the  office  of  county  clerk,  is  a  native  of 
Tuscarawas  county,  Ohio,  born  January  12, 
1866.  His  parents,  Charles  and  Mary  E. 
( Shanower)  Putt,  were  both  of  German  lineage 
and  natives  of  Ohio.  The  father,  now  in  the 
railroad  employ,  became  a  resident  of  Green- 
bush  township,  Clinton  county,  in  1877,  and 
settled  upon  a  farm.  Later,  however,  he  en- 
tered the  service  of  the  Toledo  &  Ann  Arbor 
Railway  Company,  with  which  he  is  still  con- 
nected. His  wife  is  also  living  and  they  are 
parents  of  two  sons,  the  younger  being  Carlos 
W.  Putt,  a  practicing  dentist  of  Bellaire, 
Michigan. 

Soon  after  the  birth  of  Clark  A.  Putt  his 
parents  removed  to  the  state  of  Iowa,  and  when 


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he  was  eleven  years  of  age  took  up  their  abode 
upon  a  farm  in  Greenbush  township,  this 
county.  He  was  therefore  reared  in  this  part 
of  the  state,  spending  his  boyhood  days  in  the 
usual  manner  of  farm  lads  who  assist  in  the 
labors  of  the  fields  when  not  occupied  with  the 
duties  of  the  schoolroom.  His  education  was 
completed  in  the  high  school  of  St.  Johns.  He 
came  to  this  city  in  1884,  and  believing  that 
he  would  find  commercial  pursuits  more  con- 
genial than  agricultural  life  he  turned  his  at- 
tention to  the  grocery  business,  becoming  a 
clerk  in  the  employ  of  Warren  &  Bundy,  with 
whom  he  continued  in  that  capacity  for  three 
years.  In  the  meantime,  through  the  careful 
husbanding  of  his  resources,  he  had  acquired 
capital  sufficient  to  enable  him  to  engage  in 
business  on  his  own  account  and  in  1887  he  be- 
came a  grocer  of  St.  Johns,  forming  a  part- 
nership with  James  B.  Henderson  under  the 
firm  name  of  Henderson  &  Putt.  That  rela- 
tion was  maintained  for  three  years,  when  the 
firm  of  Putt  &  Davis  was  organized  with 
Robert  Davis  as  the  junior  partner.  These 
gentlemen  carried  on  business  together  until 
1901,  when  Mr.  Putt  bought  out  his  partner 
and  became  sole  proprietor.  He  added  a  stock 
of  shoes  to  his  stock  and  carried  on  both  de- 
partments of  the  business  until  July,  1904, 
when  he  retired. 

In  the  meantime  Mr.  Putt  had  been  a  can- 
didate for  public  office,  being  the  choice  of  the 
republican  party  for  the  position  of  county 
clerk.  He  received  no  opposition  at  the  pri- 
maries and  was  elected  by  popular  suffrage  in 
the  fall  of  1904.  He  succeeded  Edward  C. 
McKee  in  that  position  January  1,  1905,  and 
has  performed  the  duties  of  the  office  with  the 
same  promptness,  systematic  methods  and 
fidelity  which  he  manifested  in  the  control  of 
his  private  business  interests. 

On  the  14th  of  May,  1888,  Mr.  Putt  was 
united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Linnie  J.  Eaegle, 
a  daughter  of  David  L.  Eaegle,  of  Greenbush 
township.  They  have  three  children,  Zelma, 
Fennimore  E.  and  Kathryn,  and  they  also  lost 
two  children  in  infancy.  Mr.  Putt  is  master 
of  St.  Johns  lodge,  No.  105,  A.  F.  &  A.  M., 
4 


and  has  membership  relations  with  the  Wood- 
men of  the  World,  the  Maccabees,  the  Modern 
Woodmen  of  America  and  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church.  In  the  field  of  political  life 
and  commercial  activity  he  has  won  local  dis- 
tinction and  is  to-day  numbered  among  the 
leading,  influential  and  honored  citizens  of  St. 
Johns,  where  both  his  public  and  private  career 
have  won  him  the  deserved  and  unbounded  con- 
fidence of  his  fellowmen. 


WILLIS  McLOUTH. 


Willis  McLouth  is  one  of  the  active  and  en- 
terprising farmers,  stock-raisers  and  capable 
business  men  of  Clinton  county.  He  lives  in 
Dewitt  and  owns  and  operates  one  hundred 
and  sixty  acres  of  land  adjoining  the  village. 
He  was  born  in  Riley  township,  this  county, 
September  30,  1856.  His  father,  Newton  Mc- 
Louth, was  born  in  New  York  state  in  1826 
and  came  to  the  west  with  his  father,  Squire 
McLouth,  about  1829  or  1830,  the  family  home 
being  established  in  Lenawee  county,  where 
Newton  McLouth  was  reared  to  manhood. 
He  wedded  Emily  Hathaway  and  about  1852 
they  came  to  Clinton  county,  Mr.  McLouth 
purchasing  a  farm  near  Dewitt  in  Riley  town- 
ship. He  then  gave  his  attention  to  the  further 
cultivation  and  improvement  of  the  place  for 
some  time  but  eventually  sold  out  and  removed 
to  Dewitt  township,  where  he  bought  a  farm 
which  he  cultivated  for  a  number  of  years.  He 
then  sold  and  bought  where  his  son  now  re- 
sides. He  built  a  good  residence,  a  substan- 
tial barn  and  made  other  valuable  improve- 
ments and  upon  that  farm  he  reared  his  family 
and  spent  his  last  days,  passing  away  in  Janu- 
ary, 1894.     His  wife  still  survives  him. 

Willis  McLouth,  the  only  son  and  his  fa- 
ther's heir,  was  reared  upon  the  home  farm, 
acquired  a  common-school  education  and  was 
trained  to  all  the  labors  that  fall  to  the  lot  of 
the  agriculturist.  He  continued  to  work  with 
his  father  until  the  latter's  death  and  in  fact 
some  years  before  his  demise  had  entire  charge 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


of  the  home  place.  He  has  since  bought  an- 
other farm  in  Dewitt  township  of  one  hundred 
and  seventy-two  acres  and  has  another  tract 
of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  which  is  well 
improved  but  he  now  rents  both  of  these  farms, 
giving  his  attention,  however,  to  a  property 
of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  adjoining  the 
village.  He  is  a  partner  here  in  a  general  mer- 
cantile business,  being  associated  with  Homer 
Brazee  under  the  firm  style  of  Brazee  &  Com- 
pany. 

In  October,  1881,  Mr.  McLouth  was  mar- 
ried to  Miss  Josie  Holmes,  a  native  of  Clinton 
county,  who  was  reared  and  educated  here  and 
further  continued  her  school  life  in  Lansing 
subsequent  to  completing  the  high-school 
course.  She  engaged  in  teaching  for  several 
years  prior  to  her  marriage.  Unto  them  have 
been  born  two  children  :  Florence  Merle,  who 
is  a  graduate  of  Albion  College;  and  Helen 
Lueile. 

Politically  Mr.  McLouth  is  independent, 
casting  his  ballot  for  the  candidates  whom  he 
regards  as  best  qualified  for  office.  He  was 
elected  and  served  as  township  clerk  for  two 
terms  and  has  also  been  township  treasurer 
and  member  of  the  school  board  at  Dewitt. 
His  wife  is  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal church  and  he  contributes  to  its  support. 
Fraternally  he  is  connected  with  the  blue  lodge 
of  Masons,  in  which  he  has  served  as  treasurer, 
and  both  he  and  his  wife  are  identified  with 
the  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  He  is  one  of 
the  prosperous  farmers  of  the  county,  a  man 
of  good  business  ability,  and  is  widely  and  fa- 
vorably known  in  this  section  of  the  state. 


JAMES  HARVEY  GUNNISON. 

James  Harvey  Gunnison,  interested  in  general 
farming  and  stock-raising,  his  home  being  on 
section  14,  Dewitt  township,  and  constituting  a 
well  improved  and  valuable  tract  of  land  at  Gun- 
nisonville,  is  one  of  the  native  sons  of  Clinton 
county  and  is  said  to  have  been  the  second 
white  child  born  within  its  borders.     His  birth 


occurred  May  21,  1837,  and  he  is  of  the  seventh 
generation  in  direct  descent  from  Hugh  Gun- 
nison, who  was  born  in  Sweden  about  16.10  and 
came  to  America  prior  to  1631,  settling  in  New 
Hampshire.  He  traces  his  ancestry  from  Hugh 
through  Elihu  first,  Elihu  second,  Joseph,  Wil- 
liam and  Elihu,  third,  who  was  the  father  of  our 
subject.  The  grandfather  had  twenty-two  chil- 
dren. The  father,  Elihu  Gunnison,  was  a  na- 
tive of  New  Hampshire  and  was  born  at  New- 
terry  in  1803.  He  came  to  the  west  when  a 
young  man  during  the  territorial  days  of  Michi- 
gan and  was  married  in  Washtenaw  county  to 
Ruth  Anne  Pryer,  who  was  a  native  of  Erie 
county,  New  York,  and  a  daughter  of  Hum- 
phrey Pryer,  whose  birth  occurred  in  England. 
Following  his  marriage  Elihu  Gunnison 
located  in  Livingston  county,  where  he 
opened  up  a  farm  upon  which  he  re- 
sided for  a  few  years.  In  1835  he 
removed  to  Clinton  county,  where  he  entered 
one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  and  took  up 
his  abode  thereon  in  the  following  year.  No 
roads  had  been  laid  out  and  he  had  to  mark 
trees  to  guide  him  on  his  way  from  Dewitt. 
Soon  the  sound  of  his  ax  awakened  the  echoes 
in  the  forest  as  one  after  another  the  trees  fell 
before  his  sturdy  strokes.  Thus  he  cleared  the 
land  and  built  thereon  a  log  house,  in  which 
he  resided  for  a  number  of  years.  Later  he 
bought  more  land  until  he  owned  about  one 
thousand  acres  and  as  time  passed  by  he  re- 
placed his  primitive  pioneer  buildings  by  mod- 
ern and  substantial  structures  and  improvements, 
becoming  one  of  the  prosperous,  prominent,  in- 
fluential and  well  known  farmers  of  the  county. 
Here  he  spent  his  remaining  days,  his  labors 
contributing  in  substantial  measure  to  the  wel- 
fare and  progress  of  this  part  of  the  state,  and 
he  passed  away  on  the  old  family  homestead, 
September  27,  1877,  when  seventy-four  years 
of  age.  His  wife  survived  him  for  a  number 
of  years  and  departed  this  life  in  1895,  at  the 
ripe  old  age  of  eighty  years. 

James  H.  Gunnison  is  one  of  a  family  of  five 
sons  and  three  daughters,  all  of  whom  arrived 
at  years  of  maturity.  He  spent  his  youth  upon 
the  old  home  farm,  being  reared  amid  pioneer 


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59 


surroundings  and  was  educated  in  the  State 
Normal  School  at  Ypsilanti,  in  which  he  spent 
three  terms  after  completing  his  district-school 
course.  When  he  had  arrived  at  mature  years 
he  also  spent  two  years  in  the  Agricultural  Col- 
lege at  Lansing  and  was  thus  well  equipped  for 
life's  practical  and  responsible  duties,  gaining  in 
the  last  named  institution  a  knowledge  of  the 
scientific  methods  of  farming  which  have 
proven  of  much  value  to  him  in  his  work.  He 
and  his  brothers  and  sisters  have  all  been  teach- 
ers and  thus  have  aided  largely  in  the  intellectual 
development  of  the  county.  James  H.  Gunni- 
son followed  the  teacher's  profession  in  Illinois, 
being  employed  for  two  terms  near  Galesburg, 
and  for  several  terms  he  was  also  a  teacher  in 
this  county.  Subsequently  he  returned  to  the 
farm,  purchased  the  interest  of  the  other  heirs 
in  the  old  homestead  and  thus  succeeded  to  its 
ownership. 

On  the  29th  of  September,  1864,  Mr.  Gunni- 
son was  married  to  Miss  Celia  F.  Southworth, 
a  native  of  Michigan,  who  died  in  1888,  leav- 
ing a  daughter.  In  1893  in  New  Albany,  Indi- 
ana, Mr.  Gunnison  wedded  Miss  Catherine  R. 
Hutton,  a  niece  of  his  first  wife,  and  she  was 
born,  reared  and  educated  in  New  Albany  and 
became  a  teacher  in  a  business  college  there. 
There  are  two  children  by  this  union.  The 
daughter  by  the  first  marriage  is  Hallie  C,  now 
the  wife  of  Dr.  Harry  Gregory,  of  Newberry, 
Luce  county,  Michigan.  The  two  children  of 
the  second  marriage  are  Cleland  J.  and  Vita  K. 

Mr.  Gunnison  took  possession  of  the  old 
home  farm  in  1862.  He  has  since  erected  a 
substantial  residence  and  a  good  barn  with  base- 
ment, also  other  good  outbuildings  and  now  has 
altogether  a  neat  and  well  improved  place.  In 
his  political  views  he  was  formerly  a  democrat 
but  now  votes  with  the  prohibition  party,  being 
a  stanch  advocate  of  the  cause  of  temperance. 
He  was  elected  and  served  as  commissioner  of 
highways  and  has  been  a  delegate  to  the  county 
and  state  conventions  of  the  democracy.  He  and 
his  wife  hold  membership  in  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church  at  Gunnisonville,  in  which  he 
has  served  as  an  officer,  being  president  of  the 
board  of  trustees  and  also  steward.     He  is  a 


member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity,  affiliated 
with  the  blue  lodge  at  Lansing,  and  he  is  like- 
wise a  member  of  the  Grange,  in  which  he  has 
filled  various  offices.  His  worth  is  widely  ac- 
knowledged and  his  business  and  executive 
force  are  the  strong  elements  in  what  has 
proved  a  successful  career  as  an  agriculturist. 


WILLIAM  J.  WHITLOCK. 

William  J.  Whitlock,  who  has  made  many 
improvements  upon  his  farm  on  section  28, 
Greenbush  township,  where  he  owns  and  oper- 
ates a  valuable  tract  of  one  hundred  acres,  was 
born  on  the  adjoining  section — 27, — April  28, 
1849,  his  parents  being  Orange  and  Phebe 
Ann  (Hiscock)  Whitlock.  The  father  was  a 
native  of  Vermont  and  arrived  in  Clinton 
county  in  1838,  at  which  time  he  purchased 
from  the  government  one  hundred  and  sixty 
acres  of  land  on  sections  27  and  28,  Green- 
bush  township.  No  clearing  had  been  made 
in  the  township  at  that  early  date  and  Mr. 
Whitlock  maintained  his  residence  in  Ypsilanti 
until  1847  Dllt  devoted  the  winter  months  to 
clearing  away  the  timber  and  otherwise  im- 
proving the  farm.  In  that  year  he  took  up 
his  abode  upon  his  land,  living  in  a  log  shanty 
while  he  continued  to  clear  and  operate  the 
land.  His  nearest  market  was  Owosso,  to 
which  he  traveled  over  roads  so  bad  that  it 
was  necessary  at  times  for  him  to  unload  his 
grain  and  carry  it  over  the  marshy  places,  after 
which  he  would  get  his  team  and  wagon  over 
and  then  load  his  grain  again.  When  he  even- 
tually reached  market  he  received  but  fifty 
cents  per  bushel  for  his  wheat  and  this  sum 
he  found  necessary  to  pay  for  provisions.  In 
fact  many  provisions  were  very  high  and  he 
gave  from  four  to  four  and  a  half  dollars  per 
barrel  for  salt.  He  owned  one  of  the  first  span 
of  horses  in  the  locality.  He  was  very  pros- 
perous in  all  that  he  undertook,  carrying  on  his 
work  along  practical  and  progressive  lines, 
and  he  added  to  the  original  farm  two  tracts 
of  eighty  acres  each,  both  of  which  adjoined 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


the  home  place.  He  was  a  public-spirited  man 
and  did  much  to  open  up  the  country,  to  build 
roads  and  bridges,  and  otherwise  carry  for- 
ward the  work  of  general  improvement.  He 
was  elected  to  go  before  the  state  legislature 
and  ask  for  an  appropriation  for  the  state  road 
which  is  one  mile  west  of  his  farm.  In  1847 
he  was  elected  justice  of  the  peace,  which  of- 
fice he  filled  for  fifty-one  consecutive  years 
with  the  exception  of  one  term.  During  that 
time  he  married  several  couples  who  are  now 
numbered  among  the  old  residents  of  the 
county.  In  1845  Mr.  Whitlock  was  united  in 
marriage  to  Miss  Phebe  Ann  Hiscock,  a 
daughter  of  Isaac  Hiscock,  of  Ypsilanti,  and 
a  relative  of  United  States  Senator  Hiscock  of 
New  York.  She  belonged  to  one  of  the  old 
pioneer  families  of  Washtenaw  county  and  in 
their  later  years  her  parents  made  their  home 
with  her  until  their  death,  the  father  passing 
away  in  1849,  while  his  wife  died  in  1867. 
Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Whitlock  were  born  three 
children :  Orange,  who  is  living  on  section  22, 
Greenbush  township;  William  J.;  and  Mrs. 
John  Whitside,  who  is  living  on  the  old  home- 
stead. The  father  died  April  7,  1895,  and 
thus  was  removed  from  the  township  a  loyal 
and  much  respected  citizen.  His  wife  passed 
awray  October  16,   1897. 

William  J.  Whitlock  was  educated  in  the 
district  schools  and  has  always  lived  on  his 
present  farm,  which  is  a  part  of  the  old  home- 
stead, with  the  exception  of  seven  years,  dur- 
ing which  time  he  resided  in  Bengal  township 
from  1883  until  1886  and  then  removed  to  St. 
Johns,  where  he  remained  until  1890.  In  the 
latter  year  he  returned  to  the  farm,  where  he 
has  since  made  many  improvements  in  both 
the  erection  of  houses  and  also  in  the  cultiva- 
tion of  the  land. 

Mr.  Whitlock  was  first  married  December 
18,  1879,  to  Miss  Delia  J.  Kneeland,  a  daughter 
of  Benjamin  Kneeland,  of  Bengal  township. 
Unto  this  marriage  were  born  four  children : 
Althea,  born  September  29,  t88o;  Burt 
K.,  born  December  14,  1882;  Earl  O., 
born  July  9,  1886;  and  Catherine,  born  Janu- 
ary 16,  1889,  all  living  with  an  uncle  in  Ben- 


gal township.  The  wife  and  mother  died  De- 
cember 12,  1890,  and  William  J.  Whitlock 
was  married,  December  21,  1892,  to  Olive  F. 
Smiley,  a  daughter  of  Benjamin  F.  Smiley,  of 
Greenbush  township,  who  was  born  in  Ohio 
but  came  to  Clinton  county  in  188 1,  settling 
on  his  present  farm,  where  he  lived  until  his 
death  in  September,  1895.  He  left  a  widow 
and  one  son  who  are  upon  the  old  homestead 
and  his  daughter,  Mrs.   Whitlock. 

Like  his  father,  William  J.  Whitlock  has  al- 
ways taken  an  active  and  helpful  interest  in 
public  matters  and  was  for  two  terms  town- 
ship constable  and  likewise  a  member  of  the 
district  school  board  of  district  No.  1  for  three 
years.  He  formerly  belonged  to  the  Keystone 
Grange,  of  which  he  was  master  until  the  sur- 
render of  its  charter.  His  brother,  O.  A. 
Whitlock,  has  also  been  prominent  in  political 
circles  and  in  1896  was  chosen  an  elector  to 
the  national  democratic  convention  at  St. 
Louis,  Missouri,  where  W.  J.  Bryan  was  nom- 
inated for  the  presidency.  Mr.  Whitlock  of 
this  review  has  fraternal  relations  with  St. 
Johns  lodge,  K.  P.,  Loyal  Guard  lodge.  No. 
42,  of  St.  Johns,  of  which  he  is  recorder  and 
the  Royal  American  lodge  of  St.  Johns.  He 
has  resided  almost  continuously  throughout 
his  life  upon  the  farm  which  is  yet  his  home 
and  the  splendid  appearance  of  the  property 
indicates  his  careful  supervision  and  well  di- 
rected labors. 


ROBERT  M.  STEEL. 

Robert  M.  Steel,  deceased,  is  numbered 
among  the  real  promoters  and  upbuilders  of  the 
commonwealth  of  Michigan.  The  growth  of 
a  state  depends  not  upon  its  machinery  of 
government  nor  upon  its  institutions,  but 
upon  the  character  and  labors  of  the 
individual  citizens  and  the  sum  total  of 
individual  effort  produces  an  effect  that  works 
for  good  or  ill  in  the  locality.  Robert  M.  Steel 
wrought  along  modern  business  lines,  becoming 
one  of  the  prominent  railroad  builders  and  con- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


63 


tractors  of  the  state  and  his  work  was  of  ut- 
most value  in  the  improvement  and  advance- 
ment of  Michigan. 

Mr.  Steel  was  of  Scotch  parentage,  his  direct 
ancestors  coming  to  America  in  1830.  They 
settled  in  Vermont,  where  his  father,  William 
Steel,  engaged  in  contracting  and  building,  and 
it  was  in  Craftsbury,  that  state,  that  Robert  M. 
Steel  was  born,  October  21,  1833.  He  acquired 
an  academic  education  in  Vermont,  and  after 
having  obtained  a  thorough  training  as  carpen- 
ter and  joiner  under  the  direction  of  his  father, 
he  went  to  Toronto,  Canada,  at  the  time  he  at- 
tained his  majority  and  was  employed  as  a  time- 
keeper on  the  Grand  Trunk  Railroad.  Two 
months  later  he  was  appointed  foreman  on  the 
part  of  the  road  being  built  between  Toronto 
and  Sarnia,  acting  in  that  capacity  for  fifteen 
months,  on  the  expiration  of  which  time  he  was 
admitted  to  a  partnership  by  his  former  em- 
ployers, Messrs.  Hayden  &  Ross,  who  had 
taken  a  contract  to  lay  the  superstructure  of 
the  Detroit  &  Milwaukee  Railroad. 

Accordingly  in  1856  Mr.  Steel  removed  to 
St.  Johns  as  the  point  most  convenient  in  which 
to  carry  on  his  operations,  which  contract  was 
completed  in  the  fall  of  1858.  The  next  year 
he  took  a  contract  for  the  building  of  the  Grand 
Trunk  Railroad  from  Detroit  to  Port  Huron 
and  at  the  same  time  was  interested  with  W.  A. 
Steam  &  Company  in  the  building  of  a  rail- 
road from  Three  Rivers,  Canada,  to  Artha- 
baska,  a  distance  of  thirty-eight  miles,  both  con- 
tracts being  completed  in  December,  1859.  In 
September,  1862,  Mr.  Steel,  with  his  former 
partner,  Mr.  Ross,  entered  into  a  contract  under 
the  firm  name  of  Ross,  Steel  &  Company  to 
build  three  hundred  and  sixty  miles  of  the 
Kansas  Pacific  Railroad.  The  firm  had  one 
hundred  miles  erected  and  twenty-five  miles 
graded  when  the  company  disposed  of  its  fran- 
chise to  Samuel  Hallet  and  J.  C.  Fremont.  Mr. 
Steel  then  entered  into  partnership  with  Messrs. 
Ellithorpe  &  Adams  under  the  firm  style  of  Elli- 
thorpe,  Adams  &  Steel  and  was  engaged  in 
building  bridges,  etc.,  for  the  city  of  Leaven- 
worth. He  subsequently  rebuilt  the  Hannibal 
&  St.  Joseph  Railroad,  which  work  claimed  his 


attention  until  December,  1869.  In  1867  he 
had  made  an  individual  contract  with  James  F. 
Joy  to  build  the  accretions  for  the  Union  depot 
for  the  Burlington  &  Missouri  River  and  the 
Chicago,  Burlington  &  Quincy  Railroads,  at 
Burlington,  Iowa.  He  completed  this  contract 
in  the  fall  of  1868,  keeping  a  force  of  workmen 
busy  night  and  day.  In  1870  he  contracted  for 
the  building  of  ninety  miles  of  the  St.  Louis  & 
Southeastern  Railway,  which  was  completed  in 
November,  187 1,  and  the  next  January  he  se- 
cured the  contract  for  the  building  of  the  Cairo 
&  Vincennes  Railroad  through  two  counties,  a 
distance  of  one  hundred  and  sixty-eight  miles, 
with  its  culverts  and  bridges — a  work  which  he 
completed  within  twelve  months.  In  1873  he 
contracted  to  build  the  superstructure  of  forty 
miles  of  the  Paducah  &  Memphis  Railroad, 
which  was  completed  in  thirty-five  days.  In 
May,  1875,  George  Mason,  of  Toronto, 
Canada,  made  a  contract  for  seventy  miles  of 
railroad  between  the  Great  Western  line  of 
Canada  on  the  south  and  the  Wellington,  Grey 
&  Bruce  Railroad  on  the  north  to  be  opened 
for  traffic  the  following  January.  Mr.  Steel 
became  special  contractor  for  thirty-five  miles 
of  this  line  with  fencing  for  the  whole  distance, 
necessitating  a  post  and  board  fence  one  hun- 
dred and  forty  miles  long.  He  completed  his 
contract,  the  work  being  pronounced  satis- 
factory in  every  particular  to  Mr.  Masson,  chief 
engineer. 

In  addition  to  his  extensive  railroad  contracts 
Mr.  Steel  executed  government  work  at  Chi- 
cago, Calumet,  Ludington,  Manistee  and 
Frankfort.  He  was  the  originator  of  the  St. 
Johns  Manufacturing  Company,  its  principal 
stockholder,  its  president  and  one  of  its  direct- 
ors and  he  held  the  largest  individual  interests 
in  both  the  St.  Johns  National  Bank  and  the 
Clinton  County  Savings  Bank,  also  of  this  city. 
He  was  the  president  qi  the  Whipple  Harrow 
Company,  of  St.  Johns,  of  the  St.  Johns 
Evaporator  &  Produce  Company,  the  Electric, 
Light,  Heat  &  Power  Company  and  the  Mutual 
Gas  Company,  of  St.  Johns.  He  was  a  partner 
in  the  retail  furniture  establishment  conducted 
under  the  name  of  R.  M.  Steel  &  Company  and 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


had  an  interest  in  the  hardware  firm  of  Nixon 
&  Company  and  in  the  millinery  firm  of  J.  T. 
Cole  &  Company.  He  was  president  of  the  St. 
Johns  Mercantile  Company,  and  in  1887  he 
built  the  Steel  Hotel  in  St.  Johns  at  a  cost  of 
sixty-five  thousand  dollars,  one  of  the  finest 
hotel  buildings  in  the  state.  He  owned  at  one 
time  about  a  sixth  of  the  town  site  and  several 
hundred  acres  of  farm  lands  within  the  corpor- 
ate limits  of  the  city,  together  with  farm  lands 
in  different  parts  of  the  county  and  state.  He 
likewise  had  large  interests  in  the  west  and  in 
1879  he  began  contracting  on  the  coast  and  also 
became  a  factor  in  the  promotion  and  conduct 
of  various  enterprises  in  that  section  of  the 
country.  He  owned  a  stock  ranch  in  Oregon, 
whereon  he  kept  from  eight  hundred  to  one 
thousand  head  of  horses  of  imported  and  graded 
stock.  He  also  had  an  individual  half  town 
site  of  Huntington,  Oregon,  and  with  his  son 
George  wras  largely  interested  in  the  Island 
City  Mercantile  &  Milling  Company,  together 
with  controlling  interests  in  four  or  five  stores 
and  two  flouring  mills.  They  laid  off  the  town 
site  of  Hilgard  and  established  stores  there.  Mr. 
Steel  was  interested  in  copper  mines,  in  several 
placer  gold  mines  and  in  a  large  mining  ditch 
in  Idaho.  Pie  became  a  stockholder  in  the 
Merchants'  National  Bank  at  Portland  and  other 
banks  of  the  coast  and  was  president  of  the 
First  National  Bank  in  Island  City,  also  the 
Wallowa  National  Bank  of  Enterprise,  and  the 
Lagrande  National  Bank  at  Lagrande,  Oregon, 
and  the  vice  president  of  the  First  National 
Bank  at  Union,  Oregon.  He  had  three  thou- 
sand acres  of  land  in  Gratiot  county,  Michigan, 
and  an  equal  amount  in  Isabella  county.  In  ad- 
dition to  his  extensive  and  important  business 
enterprises  in  this  state  already  mentioned,  he 
was  president  of  the  First  National  Banks  of 
Ovid,  Mount  Pleasant,  St.  Louis  and  Ithaca, 
and  of  the  Mount  Pleasant  Manufacturing 
Company  and  the  Ithaca  Milling  Company. 

Mr.  Steel  at  one  time  was  the  wealthiest  resi- 
dent of  Clinton  county  and  was  a  man  of  very 
benevolent,  charitable  spirit,  a  benefactor  to 
many  movements  for  the  betterment  of  the  hard 
conditions  of  human  life.     His  memory  will  not 


only  be  held  sacred  in  St.  Johns  but  through- 
out the  United  States  wherever  he  was  known 
for  many  years  to  come.  Mr.  Steel  was  a 
Knight  Templar  of  St.  Johns  commandery  and 
was  a  republican  in  his  political  views.  He  was 
married,  March  13,  i860,  to  Miss  Carrie  A. 
Hyatt,  a  daughter  of  James  M.  Hyatt,  of  New 
York.  For  many  years  he  was  closely  identified 
with  the  history  of  St.  Johns  and  of  Clinton 
county  as  a  representative  of  many  of  its  most 
important  business  enterprises  and  various  other 
sections  of  the  country  felt  the  stimulus  of  his 
enterprise  and  business  capacity.  He  was  a 
man  of  keen  discrimination  and  sound  judg- 
ment, and  his  executive  ability  and  excellent 
management  formed  the  basis  of  a  splendid 
success. 


GEORGE  R.  DOTY. 


George  R.  Doty,  now  living  a  retired  life,  is 
numbered  with  the  old  settlers  of  Michigan,  for 
he  came  to  the  state  in  1844,  locating  in  Living- 
ston county  only  seven  years  after  its  admis- 
sion into  the  Union.  He  has  lived  in  Clinton 
county  since  1861  and  has  therefore  for  forty- 
four  years  been  a  witness  of  the  events  which 
have  framed  its  history  and  has  in  a  consider- 
able degree  aided  in  public  progress  and  im- 
provement. He  came  to  Michigan  from  the 
Empire  state,  his  birth  having  there  occurred 
on  the  30th  of  December,  182 1.  His  father, 
Josiah  Doty,  was  born  November  18,  1792, 
and  was  twice  married,  his  second  union  being 
with  Chloe  Rash,  who  became  the  mother  of 
our  subject.  In  the  state  of  New  York  George 
R.  Doty  was  reared,  acquiring  his  education  in 
the  common  schools.  He  afterward  learned 
and  followed  the  cooper's  trade  in  Livingston 
and  Clinton  counties  of  Michigan.  He  con- 
tinued coopering  until  1852,  when  he  removed 
from  Livingston  county  to  Mamasura  Island  in 
Detroit  river,  where  he  was  employed  by  the 
government,  acting  in  that  capacity  for  about 
nine  years.  In  186 1  he  came  to  Clinton  county, 
wThere  he  established  a  cooper  shop,  carrying  on 
business  for  five  or  six  years.     He  then  bought 


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a  lot  and  built  the  principal  hotel  of  Elsie,  after 
which  he  opened  it  for  business,  conducting  the 
house  for  a  number  of  years  with  excellent  suc- 
cess. He  proved  a  popular  landlord  because 
of  his  earnest  desire  to  please  his  patrons  and 
the  excellent  entertainment  which  he  afforded 
to  the  traveling  public.  Since  retiring  from 
the  hotel  he  has  engaged  in  no  active  business 
pursuit  but  is  now  enjoying  a  well  earned  rest. 

Mr.  Doty  was  married  in  Ionia  county, 
Michigan,  in  1845,  to  Miss  Lydia  A.  Seeley, 
who  passed  away  on  the  30th  of  April,  1905. 
There  had  been  three  children  born  of  that 
marriage,  of  whom  Chloe  died  at  the  age  of 
twelve  years  and  Frank  at  the  age  of  six 
months.  Charles  Doty,  living  in  Elsie,  is  mar- 
ried and  has  two  children,  Eunice  and  Inez, 
the  latter  now  acting  as  her  grandfather's 
housekeeper. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Doty  is  a  stanch 
democrat,  suporting  the  men  and  measures  of 
the  party  and  always  giving  his  allegiance  to  its 
presidential  candidates,  save  in  1872,  when  he 
supported  Horace  Greeley.  He  was  elected  and 
served  for  four  years  as  justice  of  the  peace, 
has  also  been  a  member  of  the  school  board  and 
notary  public  for  a  number  of  years.  While 
acting  in  the  first  named  position  he  performed 
a  number  of  marriage  ceremonies.  Mr.  Doty 
has  led  a  useful  life  and  is  an  honored  citizen 
of  Clinton  county.  He  is  now  far  advanced  on 
life's  journey,  having  passed  the  eighty-fourth 
mile-stone  and  in  a  review  of  his  history  it  will 
be  seen  that  he  has  displayed  many  sterling 
traits  of  character  worthy  of  commendation  and 
of  emulation.  His  mind  bears  the  impress  of 
many  of  the  early  historic  events  of  the  state, 
for  during  more  than  six  decades  he  has  resided 
within  the  borders  of  Michigan. 


JOHN  T.  BECKETT. 

John  T.  Beckett,  living  on  section  27,  Olive 
township,  has  prospered  in  his  farming  under- 
takings and  entirely  through  his  own  efforts 
has  gained  the  property  which  he  now  pos- 


sesses, owning  and  operating  eighty-five  acres 
of  land.  He  is  a  native  of  Oakland  county, 
Michigan,  his  birth  having  occurred  in  the 
town  of  Pontiac  on  the  23d  of  July,  1859.  His 
father,  Samuel  Beckett,  was  born  in  Lincoln- 
shire, England,  in  1826,  and  the  grandfather, 
Thomas  Beckett,  was  likewise  a  native  of  that 
country,  whence  he  emigrated  to  the  new 
world  in  1842,  establishing  his  home  in  the 
state  of  NewT  York.  There  Samuel  Beckett 
was  reared  to  manhood  and  when  a  young  man 
he  came  west  to  Michigan,  arriving  in  this 
state  about  1847.  He  located  in  Oakland 
county,  where  he  was  afterward  joined  by  his 
mother  and  the  other  members  of  the  family. 
It  was  in  that  county  that  Samuel  Beckett  was 
married  to  Miss  Mary  Ann  Frank,  a  native  of 
Oakland  county  and  a  daughter  of  John 
Frank,  one  of  its  early  settlers.  Having  come 
to  the  west  from  Vermont,  Mr.  Beckett  be- 
gan farming  in  Oakland  county  and  there  he 
'  reared  his  family,  whereon  he  spent  his  remain- 
ing days,  his  death  occurring  there  in  1902. 
His  wife  still  survives  him  and  now  resides 
with  her  son  Fred  H.,  who  is  married  and 
makes  his  home  in  Rochester,  Michigan,  where 
he  follows  the  trade  of  a  carpenter  and  joiner. 
John  T.  Beckett,,  her  other  son,  was  reared 
in  the  county  of  his  nativity  and  is  indebted  to 
the  public-school  system  for  the  educational 
privileges  he  enjoyed.  He  continued  under 
the  parental  roof  until  twenty-three  years  of 
age,  when  in  1883  he  came  to  Clinton  county, 
where  he  worked  by  the  month  for  two  years. 
He  was  married  here  on  the  20th  of  Novem- 
ber, 1884,  to  Miss  Anna  Randall,  a  native  of 
Oakland  county,  in  which  locality  she  spent 
her  girlhood  days.  Her  father,  Joseph  Ran- 
dall, was  a  native  of  New  York  and  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Oakland  county,  whence  he 
removed  to  Clinton  county.  Following  his 
marriage  Mr.  Beckett  rented  a  farm  for  three 
years  and  in  t888  purchased  the  place  upon 
which  he  now  resides,  buying  at  first  but  forty 
acres.  He  at  once  began  tilling  the  soil  and 
otherwise  improving  the  place  and  he  built 
thereon  a  good  house  and  added  many  modern 
equipments.     He  also  extended  the  boundaries 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


of  his  farm  as  his  financial  resources  increased 
and  owns  eighty-five  acres  at  the  present  time. 
He  has  a  windmill  here  and  all  modern  ma- 
chinery and  in  addition  to  the  cultivation  of  the 
soil  he  likewise  raises  good  grades  of  stock. 
He  and  his  wife  have  two  children:  Viola  B., 
the  wife  of  Charles  Taylor,  a  resident  farmer 
of  Olive  township;  and  Helen,  who  is  a  stu- 
dent in  St.  Johns  high  school. 

Politically  Mr.  Beckett  is  a  stanch  repub- 
lican, having  given  his  support  to  the  party  dur- 
ing most  of  his  life.  He  has  been  elected  and 
is  now  serving  as  township  clerk,  having  filled 
the  office  for  six  consecutive  years  and  in  1905 
he  was  re-elected.  He  has  likewise  served  on 
the  school  board  and  he  is  a  Master  Mason, 
belonging  to  Dewitt  lodge,  No.  272,  A.  F.  & 
A.  M.,  and  to  the  Modern  Woodmen  camp, 
while  he  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Or- 
der of  the  Eastern  Star. 


CAPTAIN  A.  S.  HARRIS. 

Captain  A.  S.  Harris,  living  on  section  9. 
Lebanon  township,  is  one  of  the  honored 
veterans  of  the  Civil  war,  who  when  a  call  for 
troops  came  manifested  his  loyalty  to  the  Union 
and  joined  the  army  in  its  defense.  Fearlessly 
he  performed  the  duties  assigned  to  him,  return- 
ing home  with  a  creditable  military  record  and 
in  all  life's  relations  he  has  manifested  the  same 
spirit  of  devotion  to  duty.  His  attention  is 
now  given  to  farming  operations  and  he  owns 
and  cultivates  two  hundred  and  forty- four  acres 
of  land  in  Lebanon  township,  the  home  place 
comprising  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres. 
He  dates  his  residence  in  the  county  from  1871. 

His  birth  occurred  in  Vermont  about  twenty- 
five  miles  north  of  Montpelier,  on  the  13th  of 
January,  1839.  His  father,  James  Harris,  was 
a  native  of  New  Hampshire  and  was  there 
reared,  while  in  Massachusetts  he  wedded  Miss 
Charlotte  Downer,  whose  birth  occurred  in  the 
old  Bay  state.  Mr.  Harris  became  a  farmer  of 
Vermont  and  later  followed  mercantile  pursuits 
in  Wayne  and  Monroe  counties  of  New  York. 


Subsequently  he  came  to  Michigan,  joining  his 
son  Charles  in  Clinton  county,  and  his  last 
years  were  passed  here,  his  death  occurring 
about  1892.  His  wife  survived  him  for  a 
number  of  years  and  died  in  1902.  In  their 
family  were  six  children:  Henry,  the  eldest, 
was  one  of  five  brothers  who  enlisted  and  served 
in  the  Civil  war  as  defenders  of  the  Union 
cause,  after  which  he  married  and  settled  upon 
a  farm  but  is  now  deceased;  Charles  resides  in 
Montcalm  county,  Michigan ;  A.  S.  is  the  next 
younger;  Solon  died  in  Wayne  county,  New 
York,  in  1904;  Mrs.  Frances  Bishop,  now  a 
widow,  is  living  in  Bloomer  township,  Mont- 
calm county,  Michigan;  and  Edgar,  a  promi- 
nent farmer  of  Lebanon  township,  is  residing 
in  Hubertson.  He  was  a  soldier  of  the  Civil 
war. 

Captain  Harris  was  reared  in  Wayne  county, 
New  York,  and  is  indebted  to  its  public-school 
system  for  the  educational  privileges  he  en- 
joyed in  his  youth.  He  was  a  young  man  of 
twenty-two  years  when  on  the  9th  of  Septem- 
ber, 1861,  in  response  to  his  county's  call  for 
troops,  he  enlisted  for  three  years'  service  as  a 
member  of  Company  I,  Ninety-eighth  Volun- 
teer Infantry,  which  was  assigned  to  the  Army 
of  the  Potomac.  He  did  active  duty  in  the 
Carolinas  and  a  part  of  the  time  was  under 
George  B.  McClellan  in  the  Peninsular  cam- 
paign. He  enlisted  as  a  private  but  was  pro- 
moted to  the  rank  of  sergeant  and  passed 
through  successive  grades  until  he  was  com- 
missioned captain.  He  took  part  in  the  bat- 
tle of  Williamsburg  and  later  in  the  engage- 
ments in  the  Peninsular  campaign  and  arrived 
at  Richmond,  thus  taking  part  in  many  impor- 
tant battles,  including  the  one  at  Malvern  Hill. 
He  was  wounded  at  Fair  Oaks  and  later  in 
front  of  Richmond  but  was  not  disabled.  In 
1863  he  veteranized  and  then  returned  home 
upon  a  thirty  days  furlough,  rejoining  his  regi- 
ment at  Yorktown,  Virginia.  Subsequently  he 
participated  in  the  battle  of  Bermuda  Hundred 
and  others  in  that  locality  and  later  joined 
General  Grant  at  Cold  Harbor,  taking  part  in 
the  battle  from  the  1st  to  the  3d  of  June.  Fol- 
lowing the  siege  at  Pittsburg  and  Richmond  his 


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CAPT.  AND  MRS.  A.  S.  HARRIS. 


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brigade  was  the  first  to  enter  the  latter  city. 
Fire  had  been  started  and  the  troops  were  set  to 
work  to  extinguish  the  flames  and  thus  save 
the  city.  Captain  Harris  served  until  the 
close  of  the  war  and  was  mustered  out  at  Rich- 
mond, receiving  an  honorable  discharge  at 
Albany,  New  York,  in  September,  1865.  His 
valor  and  meritorious  conduct  on  the  field  of 
battle  had  won  him  promotion  and  his  own 
bravery  often  inspired  his  men  to  deeds  of  valor. 

When  the  country  no  longer  needed  his  aid 
Captain  Harris  returned  to  his  home  in  Wayne 
county,  New  York,  where  he  began  work  on 
the  farm  there.  He  was  married  in  that  county, 
November  15,  1867,  to  Miss  Louise  Bishop,  a 
native  of  Wayne  county,  New  York,  who  com- 
pleted her  education  in  the  Walworth  high 
school.  The  young  couple  began  their  domestic 
life  upon  a  farm  in  Wayne  county,  which  Cap- 
tain Harris  cultivated  until  1871,  when  he  sold 
out  and  came  to  Michigan,  purchasing  one 
hundred  acres  of  land  in  Lebanon  township, 
Clinton  county.  This  he  began  to  clear  and  im- 
prove and  later  he  bought  where  he  now  resides. 
He  has  fenced  the  fields,  erected  good  buildings, 
kept  everything  about  the  place  in  a  state  of 
repair  and  is  now  one  of  the  prosperous  agri- 
culturists of  this  part  of  the  county. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Harris  have  been  born 
three  children  who  are  yet  living:  Fred  N.,  a 
substantial  farmer  of  Lebanon  township,  who 
is  serving  as  township  clerk;  Eva,  who  was 
formerly  engaged  in  teaching  and  is  now  the 
wife  of  John  Crout,  a  business  man  of  Battle 
Creek,  Michigan;  and  James  Willard,  who  as- 
sists in  carrying  on  the  home  farm.  They  also 
lost  two  sons :  Frank,  who  was  a  business  man 
and  was  killed  by  the  cars  at  Battle  Creek, 
Michigan;  and  Charles,  who  died  in  infancy. 

Politically  Captain  Harris  has  been  a  life- 
long republican  and  cast  his  first  presidential 
vote  for  Abraham  Lincoln  while  serving  in 
the  army.  He  was  elected  and  served  as  super- 
visor for  one  year,  has  been  highway  commis- 
sioner and  justice  of  the  peace  and  has  fre- 
quently been  chosen  as  a  delegate  to  county  and 
state  conventions.  He  is  a  member  of  Hub- 
bardston  post,  G.  A.  R.,  of  which  he  has  served 


as  commander,  and  his  wife  is  connected  with 
the  Woman's  Relief  Corps.  During  thirty- four 
years  he  has  resided  in  Clinton  county,  being 
thoroughly  identified  with  its  interests  and  in 
sympathy  with  its  progressive  measures.  He 
made  a  creditable  military  record  but  it  has 
been  no  more  creditable  than  his  business  career, 
for  at  all  times  he  has  been  straightforward  and 
honorable,  never  passing  beyond  the  standard 
of  justice  and  right  in  his  trade  transactions. 


JOHN  KELLY. 


John  Kelly,  one  of  the  leading  and  influential 
farmers  of  Bingham  township,  living  on  section 
14,  was  born  on  the  Isle  of  Man,  May  20, 
1834,  his  parents  being  William  and  Elizabeth 
(Crelling)  Kelly,  both  of  whom  were  natives 
of  the  Isle  of  Man.  The  father  was  a  local 
minister  of  the  Wesleyan  church  on  his  native 
isle,  situated  ninety  miles  from  Ireland,  while 
the  east  end  of  the  island  is  forty-two  miles 
from  England  and  the  north  side  sixteen  miles 
from  Scotland.  This  island  is  about  thirty- 
two  miles  long  and  fourteen  miles  wide  and  its 
population  is  sixty-five  thousand.  The  father 
rode  on  horseback  to  preach  at  his  different 
charges  on  Sunday  morning.  He  was  a  very 
earnest  and  able  speaker  and  was  considered 
one  of  the  brightest  orators  of  his  day.  A  man 
of  kind  disposition,  he  was  greatly  beloved  by 
all  his  people  and  his  death,  which  occurred  on 
the  4th  of  March,  1850,  left  a  vacancy  not 
only  in  his  place  in  the  ministry  but  also  in 
the  locality  that  it  was  difficult  to  fill.  He  had 
spent  his  life  there,  his  labors  were  interwoven 
with  the  intellectual  and  moral  development  of 
the  people,  and  he  had  become  endeared  to  all 
who  knew  him.  He  left  a  widow  and  nine  chil- 
dren to  mourn  his  loss.  At  one  time  he  was 
the  owner  of  a  place  called  Calf  of  Man,  a 
small  island  located  about  two  miles  from  the 
west  end  of  the  main  island.  His  brother, 
Henry  Kelly,  was  inspector  of  police  at  Liver- 
pool for  thirty  years  and  received  a  salary  of 
three  thousand  pounds  per  annum,  this  being 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


the  highest  office  in  the  police  department.  He 
was  also  police  magistrate  and  when  his  de- 
cision was  given  on  any  case  there  was  no  ap- 
peal. His  life  was  an  example  of  justice  and 
peace  and  in  all  of  his  official  service  he  was 
strictly  fair  and  impartial.  His  death  occurred 
in  1885  on  the  Isle  of  Man,  where  he  was  liv- 
ing a  quiet  life  after  retiring  from  official 
service.  He  was  a  prominent  man  of  his  day 
and  one  who  enjoyed  in  unqualified  measure  the 
regard  of  his  fellow  citizens. 

John  Kelly  had  but  two  brothers  who  came 
to  this  country.  William,  who  crossed  the  At- 
lantic in  1855,  settled  in  New  York  state  near 
Rochester,  where  he  passed  away  in  1857. 
James  came  in  1862  and  took  up  his  abode  near 
Rochester,  where  he  followed  his  trade  of  black- 
smithing  for  a  time  but  subsequently  went  to 
the  oil  fields  of  Pennsylvania. 

John  Kelly  was  only  six  years  of  age  when 
his    father     died    and    he    remained    with    his 
mother  until  old  enough  to  work  and  provide 
for  his  own  support,  when  he  hired  out  to  Mr. 
Mylcherst  on   the   Ballamoda   farm,   where  he 
worked  for  five  years  for  his  board  and  cloth- 
ing.    He  then  left  the  farm  and  spent  the  next 
six  years  as  an  employe  on  dfferent  farms  by 
the   year   and   in   that   time   he   saved   enough 
money  to  bring  him  to  America.     In  1857  he 
sailed  for  Canada  but  when   four  days  out  a 
heavy     storm     struck    the     ship,     which     was 
wrecked.     After  floating  on  the  wreck  for  five 
days,  during  which  nearly  all  of  the  passengers 
were  drowned,  the  few  survivors  were  picked 
up  by  a  ship  from  India,  which  took  the  pas- 
sengers on  board  and  then  towed  the  wreck 
into    Plymouth,    where   the   ship   was   rebuilt. 
After  seven  weeks  they  again  set  sail  and  with- 
out further  mishap  Mr.  Kelly  landed  at  Quebec, 
where  he  at  once  began  looking  for  work.     He 
was  unsuccessful  until  he  had  traveled  as  far  as 
Cobourg,  Ontario,  where  he  obtained  employ- 
ment on  a  farm  belonging  to  Mr.  Doolittle.    He 
worked  there  for  three  years  and  during  that 
time  was  accorded  the  privilege  of  attending 
school  in  the  winter  months.     He  then  crossed 
the  line  into  the  United  States  and  found  work 
on  a  farm  near  Rochester,  New  York,  where 


his  brother  had  been  working  at  the  time  of  his 
death.  John  Kelly  remained  there  until  1874, 
working  on  surrounding  farms  for  five  years 
and  also  being  employed  by  the  county  on 
ditch  work,  and  then  came  to  Clinton  county, 
Michigan. 

When  he  had  saved  from  his  earnings  a  sum 
sufficient   to   enable  him   to   purchase   land  he 
bought  the  Yakins  farm  on  section  14,  Bing- 
ham township,  in  1874.     This  was  covered  by 
a  dense  growth  of  timber,  there  being  not  even 
a  road  cut  through  to  St.  Johns  but  he  at  once 
petitioned  the  county  to  open  a  road  and  was 
given  the  contract  to  do  the  work.     He  cut  the 
road  through  from  the  county  seat  two  miles 
east,  one  mile  north  and  a  half  mile  south.     It 
was  for  sometime  afterward  called  the  Kelly 
road  but  is  now  known  as  the  Telephone  road. 
It  was  built  different  from  many  of  the  early 
roads,  being  graded  and  built  up  with  gravel, 
so  that  it  made  an  excellent  highway.     After 
completing  this  road  Mr.  Kelly  began  to  clear 
his  land  and  get  it  into  proper  condition  for 
farming.     He  built  his  residence,  hauling  the 
stone  used  in  the  cellar  walls  from  Shepards- 
ville.     At  the  end  of  four  years  he  had  cleared 
seventy  acres  on  the  farm  but  he  found  that 
the  constant  hardships  he  had  endured  were  too 
much  for  his  constitution  and  his  health  was 
breaking  down.     For  two  years  he  was  unable 
to  do  any  kind  of  work  and  at  one  time  it  was 
thought   that  he   would   never   again   take   up 
active  business  cares  but  he  began  to  improve 
and  gradually  recovered  his  former  health,  so 
that  now  at  the  age  of  seventy-one  years  he  is 
well  and  active.     He  has  added  to  his  original 
farm  a  tract  of  forty  acres  adjoining  on  the  west 
and  has  by  earnest  and  indefatigable  labor  de- 
veloped an  excellent  farm  property,  in  the  midst 
of  which  stands  a  comfortable  home  wherein 
he  is  spending  the  evening  of  life  surrounded 
by  all  of  the  necessities  and  many  of  the  com- 
forts that  go  to  make  life  worth  living. 

Mr.  Kelly  was  married  on  the  Isle  of  Man, 
March  9,  1864,  to  Miss  Margaret  Stowell,  a 
daughter  of  Thomas  S.  and  Mary  (Starkey) 
Stowell  of  that  place.  Her  parents  were  repre- 
sentatives of  old  and  prominent  families  on  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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Isle  of  Man  and  are  mentioned  in  its  historical 
records.  Her  father  was  a  Wesleyan  minister 
and  spent  all  of  his  life  in  active  church  work. 
He  was  called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of  his 
wife  in  1878  and  he  survived  until  1891.  He 
left  eight  children,  of  whom  five  are  still  living 
but  only  one,  George  Stowell,  resides  in  this 
country,  his  home  being  in  Montana.  The  others 
are:  William  O.,  a  farmer  on  the  Isle  of  Man; 
Mylrea,  who  is  living  in  the  city  of  Douglas  on 
the  Isle  of  Man;  and  Mary  Ann  in  Laxa  on 
that  island.  Two  other  brothers  came  to 
America  but  are  now  deceased.  Thomas 
Stowell  arrived  about  1870  and  followed  min- 
ing at  Galveston,  Henry  county,  Illinois,  where 
he  died  about  a  year  and  a  half  later.  Robert 
S.  crossed  the  Atlantic  in  1879  and  began  min- 
ing in  the  Upper  Peninsula  of  Michigan.  After 
traveling  over  nearly  this  entire  continent  he 
purchased  a  farm  in  Montana  but  afterward 
sold  that  property  to  his  brother  George,  who 
still  owns  it,  while  he  went  to  Colorado,  where 
he  died  in  1895.  George  Stowell,  who  is  now 
on  the  farm  in  Montana,  has  taken  an  active 
part  in  educational  and  church  work  since  going 
there  and  is  a  very  highly  respected  and  in- 
fluential citizen. 

In  the  maternal  line  the  ancestry  of  Mrs. 
Kelly  can  be  traced  somewhat  farther  back. 
Her  grandfather  was  a  miller  by  trade  and 
made  the  first  cart  with  spoked  wheels  on  the 
Isle  of  Man.  When  he  became  too  old  to  en- 
gage longer  in  the  milling  business  he  was  ap- 
pointed tax  collector.  A  man  of  superior  edu- 
cation, he  translated  many  manuscripts  from 
the  Manx  to  the  English  language  and  was  a 
prominent  factor  in  public  life  of  his  locality. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kelly  have  been  born  ten 
children :  William  Thomas,  a  traveling  sales- 
man residing  at  St.  Johns ;  Mary  E.  and  Louisa 
J.,  who  are  clerking  in  St.  Johns;  George  A., 
a  mail  carrier  of  that  city;  Margaret  K.,  who 
is  a  graduate  of  the  Ypsilanti  Normal  School 
and  is  teaching  at  Holland,  Michigan;  Henry, 
at  home;  Alice,  the  wife  of  Louis  Richard,  of 
Grandledge,  who  spent  five  years  in  teaching 
prior  to  her  marriage ;  Carrie,  who  is  a  graduate 
°f  the  St.  Johns  high  school  and  is  clerking  in 
5 


that  city;  Mabel,  who  is  also  a  graduate  of  the 
high  school  of  St.  Johns  and  is  at  home;  and 
Robert  J.,  who  is  a  graduate  of  the  high  school 
and  is  now  in  the  office  of  J.  L.  Brown,  an  at- 
torney of  St.  Johns.  The  parents  are  members 
of  St.  Johns  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  to 
which  the  children  also  belong,  and  two  of  the 
daughters  are  now  members  of  the  choir  of  that 
denomination  in  St.  Johns.  Mr.  Kelly  has 
never  had  occasion  to  regret  his  determination 
to  seek  a  home  in  America,  for  he  has  here 
found  the  business  opportunities  he  sought  and 
which  are  always  open  to  ambitious  energetic 
men.  He  has  made  the  most  of  his  oppor- 
tunities and  his  labors  have  brought  him  a  good 
property. 


THEODORE  N.  HENGESBACH. 

Theodore  N.  Hengesbach,  living  in  West- 
phalia, was  born  in  Westphalia  township, 
June  21,  1874,  a  son  of  Joseph  and  Mary  E. 
(Schaefer)  Hengesbach,  also  natives  of  Michi- 
gan. The  father  is  a  farmer  and  is  now  liv- 
ing in  Westphalia  township,  but  his  wife 
passed  away  in  1895,  at  the  a&e  °f  forty-five 
years.  He  has  led  a  quiet,  unassuming  life, 
but  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  enterprising 
agriculturists  of  his  township.  In  the  family 
were  eight  children,  those  still  living  being 
John  C.,  Theodore  N.,  Joseph,  Louis,  Edward 
C,  Leo  and  Anna,  the  wife  of  Joseph  A.  Arens. 
All  are  yet  living  in  Westphalia  township.  Mr. 
Hengesbach  of  this  review  began  his  educa- 
tion in  the  public  schools  and  between  the  ages 
of  seven  and  thirteen  years  attended  the  pa- 
rochial schools,  while  later  he  continued  his 
studies  in  evening  schools.  He  remained  on 
his  father's  farm  until  seventeen  years  of  age 
and  then  started  out  upon  an  independent  busi- 
ness career,  first  representing  the  Wolverine 
Soap  Company  as  a  traveling  salesman.  In 
January,  1898,  he  came  to  Westphalia,  where 
he  has  since  been  engaged  in  the  retail  liquor 
business. 

Mr.  Hengesbach  has  extended  his  activity 
to  various  lines.     He  has  been  corresponding 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


and  recording  secretary  of  the  Arbeiter  Un- 
terstutzungs  Verein,  filling  those  positions  for 
five  years  and  has  been  treasurer  for  two  and 
a  half  years.  In  politics  he  is  a  democrat,  ac- 
tive in  the  local  ranks  of  his  party  and  has 
been  a  member  of  the  democratic  central 
county  committee.  He  has  recognized  ability 
as  a  newspaper  correspondent  for  the  Portland 
Review  and  in  Westphalia  he  served  as  village 
president  in  1904,  giving  a  public-spirited  and 
progressive  administration.  He  has  also  been 
school  inspector  for  four  years  and  the  cause 
of  education  finds  in  him  a  warm  and  helpful 
friend.  He  belongs  to  St.  Mary's  Catholic 
church  and  is  thus  actively  interested  in  the 
material,  political,  intellectual  and  moral  prog- 
ress of  the  village. 

Mr.  Hengesbach  was  married  on  the  10th  of 
May,  1898,  to  Miss  Mathilda  Arens,  a  daugh- 
ter of  Anthony  and  Theresa  (Diebold)  Arens, 
and  their  children  are  Bertha  M.  E.,  Adelina 
K.  and  Theodora  M. 


OLIVER  B.  CAMPBELL,  M.  D. 

This  is  an  age  of  specialization.  It  is  the 
unusual  rather  than  the  usual  thing  in  this 
period  of  the  world's  progress  for  a  man  to  at- 
tempt to  familiarize  himself  to  the  greatest 
extent  with  every  department  of  a  profession, 
usually  concentrating  his  energies  upon  one 
special  line  and  while  Dr.  Oliver  B.  Campbell 
is  recognized  as  a  capable  and  successful  gen- 
eral physician  he  is  still  better  known  for  his 
ability  as  a  surgeon,  to  which  branch  of  the 
science  he  has  given  close  and  discriminating 
attention,  while  his  practice  in  this  profession 
has  called  him  to  almost  every  town  within  a 
radius  of  forty  miles  of  his  home. 

He  resides  in  Ovid  and  is  a  native  of  Buf- 
falo, New  York,  where  his  birth  occurred  on 
the  9th  of  May,  1852,  his  parents  being  Oliver 
B.  and  Mary  (Mills)  Campbell.  His  father 
was  born  in  Buffalo,  where  he  spent  his  boy- 
hood days  and  after  passing  the  competitive 
state  examination  he  was  admitted  to  the  State 


Normal  School,  at  Albany,  from  which  he  re- 
ceived his  teacher's  certificate.  He  entered 
upon  the  active  work  of  his  profession  in  Oak- 
land county,  Michigan,  and  was  there  married 
to  Miss  Mary  Mills,  a  daughter  of  Calvin  and 
Lovisa  Mills,  of  Oakland  county,  but  just 
when  a  bright,  happy  future  seemed  within  his 
reach  death  claimed  him  and  after  a  brief  ill- 
ness he  left  a  young  widow  whose  greatest  sol- 
ace proved  to  be  her  little  son,  to  whom  she 
gave  the  name  of  Oliver  B.  Two  and  a  half 
years  after  his  birth,  however,  she,  too,  passed 
away  and  the  little  lad  was  left  an  orphan.  He 
was  then  taken  to  the  home  of  his  grandfather 
Mills,  in  Clarkston,  Michigan,  where  he  spent 
the  days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth. 

At  the  usual  age  he  began  his  education  in 
the  village  schools  there  and  subsequently  con- 
tinued his  studies  in  the  high  schools  of  Orton- 
ville,  Goodrich  and  Holly.  When  nineteen 
years  of  age  he  entered  the  medical  department 
of  the  University  of  Michigan,  at  Ann  Arbor, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  in  1875,  and  he 
at  once  began  the  practice  of  medicine  in  Good- 
rich, Genesee  county,  where  he  remained  for 
two  years.  He  then  came  to  Clinton  county 
and  opened  an  office  in  the  town  of  Ovid, 
where  he  has  since  carried  on  a  very  success- 
ful practice,  specializing  in  surgery.  He  has 
become  recognized  as  one  of  the  most  eminent 
and  capable  surgeons  of  this  district  and  as 
before  stated  his  practice  in  this  direction  has 
carried  him  into  almost  every  city,  town  and 
village  within  a  radius  of  forty  miles.  In  1900, 
in  order  to  advance  his  proficiency,  he  pursued 
a  post-graduate  course  and  received  his  degree 
from  the  Chicago  Clinical  School.  He  is  ac- 
corded a  prominent  place  in  medical  circles 
in  the  county  and  state,  as  is  indicated  by  the 
fact  that  he  was  elected  to  the  presidency  of 
the  Clinton  County  Medical  Society  for  three 
years.  He  still  holds  membership  therewith 
and  is  also  a  member  of  the  Michigan  State 
Medical  Society  and  the  American  Medical 
Association.  In  1900  he  was  appointed  lec- 
turer of  the  Michigan  State  Medical  Society 
for  the  eighth  district  of  Michigan  and  has 
delivered  lectures  before  the  members  of  the 


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DR.  O.  B.  CAMPBELL. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


75 


profession  in  Owosso,  Saginaw  and  St.  Johns. 
During  President  Cleveland's  administration 
he  was  appointed  pension  examiner  at  Owosso, 
which  position  he  held  for  about  twelve  years. 
He  also  served  as  railroad  surgeon  for  about 
twenty  years. 

In  his  political  views  Dr.  Campbell  has  ever 
been  a  stanch  democrat  and  in  1902  he  re- 
ceived the  delegation  from  the  eighth  congres- 
sional district  offering  him  the  nomination  for 
congress  which  he  declined,  however,  being 
unable  to  spare  the  time  from  his  large  and 
increasing  practice,  in  which  he  takes  a  deep 
interest  and  just  pride,  having  a  strong  sense 
of  conscientious  obligation  regarding  the  re- 
sponsibilities that  devolve  upon  him  in  this 
connection.  He  has,  however,  acted  as  vil- 
lage officer  for  many  years  and  he  is  a  mem- 
ber of  Ovid  lodge,  No.  127,  A.  F.  &  A.  M., 
and  the  Royal  Arch  chapter.  He  has  not  only 
proved  a  successful  physician  but  has  also 
displayed  excellent  business  discernment  in 
other  directions,  having  many  paying  interests 
throughout  the  county  and  state.  He  is  now 
a  member  of  the  board  of  directors  of  the 
State  Savings  Bank,  at  Ovid,  is  the  senior 
member  of  the  banking  firm  of  Campbell  & 
Steadman,  of  Elsie  and  of  Banister,  and  owns 
considerable   real  estate. 

On  the  20th  of  September,  1876,  Dr.  Camp- 
bell was  married  to  Miss  Emma  F.  Pingree,  a 
daughter  of  the  late  Dr.  Charles  W.  Pingree, 
of  Ovid,  and  a  cousin  of  the  late  Governor 
Pingree,  of  Detroit.  Her  parents  came  to 
Clinton  county  in  1876,  settling  in  Ovid,  where 
the  Doctor  continued  his  practice  until  his 
death,  when  Dr.  Campbell  became  his  suc- 
cessor, being  at  that  time  in  partnership  with 
him.  He  left  a  widow,  Mrs.  A.  O.  Pingree, 
and  two  children :  Charles  P.  Pingree  and 
Mrs.  Campbell.  The  former  spent  his  boy- 
hood days  in  Ovid  and  following  his  gradua- 
tion from  the  high  school  of  this  place  entered 
the  Michigan  State  University,  at  Ann  Arbor, 
in  which  he  completed  a  course  in  the  medical 
and  pharmacy  departments.  He  then  re- 
ceived the  appointment  of  professor  of  botany 
and  materia  medica  in  the  Massachusetts  Col- 


lege of  Pharmacy  at  Boston  and  likewise  the 
appointment  of  professor  of  histology  in  the 
Boston  Dental  School,  which  position  he  held 
until  his  death.  He  left  a  widow  and  one  son, 
Charles  O.,  of  Boston.  Mrs.  Campbell  is  a 
graduate  of  the  Ovid  high  school  and  has  ta- 
ken a  four  years'  course  in  the  Chautauqua 
Literary  School  and  also  the  Bryant  course. 
She  is  a  musician  of  more  than  ordinary  ability, 
having  studied  under  her  mother  and  some  of 
the  best  teachers  in  Detroit  and  is  a  valued 
factor  in  musical  circles  throughout  the 
county,  while  both  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Campbell  are 
cordially  received  into  the  best  social  circles 
where  true  worth  and  excellence  are  taken 
as  passports  that  gain  entrance  into  good 
society. 


EDWARD  J.  MOINET. 

Edward  J.  Moinet,  whose  natural  aptitude  for 
the  profession,  laudable  ambition  and  uncon- 
querable determination  give  promise  of  a  suc- 
cessful career  at  the  bar,  is  a  native  of  Louis- 
ville, Stark  county,  Ohio,  born  July  14,  1873. 
His  parents  are  Julian  J.  and  Adeline  (Sava- 
geot)  Moinet,  natives  of  France  and  of  Stark 
county,  Ohio,  respectively.  Both  are  still  liv- 
ing, their  home  being  in  St.  Johns,  Michigan. 

Edward  J.  Moinet,  the  fourth  in  order  of 
birth  in  a  family  of  six  children,  was  a  student 
in  the  public  schools  of  St.  Johns  and  after 
completing  the  high-school  course  entered 
upon  preparation  for  his  chosen  profession  in 
1893  as  a  student  in  the  University  of  Michi- 
gan, completing  a  course  with  the  law  class  of 
1895.  He  located  for  practice  in  Ithaca,  Mich- 
igan, in  December  of  that  year,  remaining 
there  until  January,  1899,  when  he  came  to  St. 
Johns,  where  he  entered  upon  practice  in  June, 
1 90 1,  in  partnership  with  Edwin  H.  Lyon,  un- 
der the  firm  style  of  Lyon  &  Moinet.  They 
have  a  large  and  desirable  clientage  connecting 
them  with  much  of  the  important  litigation 
tried  in  the  courts  of  this  district.  Mr.  Moinet 
is  very  careful  in  the  preparation  of  his  cases 
and  his  reputation  as  a  lawyer  has  been  won 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


through  earnest,  honest  labor,  his  standing  at 
the  bar  being  a  merited  tribute  to  his  ability. 
His  careful  preparation  of  cases  is  supple- 
mented by  strong  argument  and  forceful  pre- 
sentation of  his  points  in  the  courtroom,  so 
that  he  never  fails  to  impress  court  or  jury, 
and  seldom  fails  to  gain  the  verdict  desired. 

Mr.  Moinet  is  a  republican  in  his  political 
affiliation,  interested  in  the  great  questions  af- 
fecting the  welfare  of  state  and  nation,  and 
well  informed  on  the  issues  of  the  day.  He 
belongs  to  the  Masonic  fraternity,  in  which  he 
has  attained  the  Knight  Templar  degree. 

On  the  30th  of  October,  1897,  Mr.  Moinet 
was  married  to  Miss  Eda  M.  Steel,  a  daugh- 
ter of  George  H.  Steel,  of  St.  Johns.  Their 
children  are  Alden  Edward  and  Margaret  Steel. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Moinet  are  well  known  in  social 
circles  here  and  regarding  his  professional  ca- 
reer his  acquaintances  speak  of  him  in  favor- 
able terms,  recognizing  that  he  has  the  ability 
and  ambition  which  will  eventually  win  pro- 
motions. 


ROBERT  HERBISON. 

Robert  Herbison,  living  on  section  10,  Bath 
township,  is  classed  with  its  prosperous  agri- 
culturists and  his  realty  holdings  are  one  hun- 
dred and  thirty  acres.  Moreover,  he  is  one 
of  the  old  settlers  of  the  state,  having  become 
a  resident  of  Michigan  in  1846,  while  since 
1867  he  has  lived  in  Clinton  county.  A  native 
of  Ireland,  his  birth  occurred  in  County  An- 
trim, near  Belfast,  May  10,  1842,  and  his  fa- 
ther, Joseph  Herbison,  was  likewise  a  native  of 
the  Emerald  Isle  but  came  of  Scotch  ancestry. 
He  was  married,  however,  in  Ireland  to  Miss 
Hannah  Hymen,  who  was  of  English  lineage 
and  in  the  year  1844  he  emigrated  to  the  new 
world,  making  his  way  direct  to  Lenawee 
county,  Michigan,  where  he  bought  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty  acres  of  land.  That  was  in 
the  period  of  early  development  here  and  the 
tract  which  he  secured  was  in  consequence  en- 
tirely wild  and  unimproved  but  he  cleared 
away  the  timber,  turned  the  furrows,  sowed 


the  seed  and  in  due  course  of  time  gathered 
harvests  that  proved  the  practical  utility  of  his 
labors.  Upon  the  farm  which  he  there  opened 
up  and  developed  he  spent  his  last  years  and 
was  survived  for  about  four  years  by  his  wife. 
They  now  rest  side  by  side  in  Tecumseh  ceme- 
tery. 

Robert  Herbison  was  reared  to  manhood  in 
Lenawee  county  and  helped  to  clear  and  carry 
on  the  home  farm.  He  had  but  little  school 
advantages  and  is  almost  wholly  a  self-edu- 
cated man,  while  his  business  career  entitles 
him  to  the  proud  American  term  "a  self-made 
man/'  He  came  to  Clinton  county  in  1867  and 
bought  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  of  raw 
land  upon  which  he  now  resides  but  the  farm  of 
to-day  bears  little  resemblance  to  the  tract  which 
came  into  his  possession  almost  forty  years  ago. 
It  is  now  well  fenced  and  the  fields  are  highly 
cultivated,  laden  with  ripening  grain.  Then 
it  was  an  unbroken  forest,  not  a  stick  having 
been  cut  nor  had  even  a  shanty  been  built 
thereon  but  to-day  there  is  a  fine  brick  resi- 
dence standing  in  the  midst  of  a  well  kept  lawn 
and  shaded  by  beautiful  evergreen  and  other 
ornamental  trees,  while  shrubbery  and  flowers 
adorn  the  place.  There  is  a  large  basement 
barn  and  other  outbuildings  and  in  fact  none 
of  the  equipments  of  a  model  farm  are  lack- 
ing. 

Robert  Herbison  came  to  Clinton  county 
with  his  brothers,  Joseph  and  John  Herbison, 
and  all  settled  here.  In  1868  the  first  men- 
tioned returned  to  Lenawee  county  and  was 
married  there  in  the  spring  of  1869  to  Miss 
Ellen  McCann,  a  lady  of  Scotch  descent,  who 
was  born  in  Tecumseh,  Michigan.  Following 
their  marriage  he  brought  his  bride  to  the  home 
which  he  had  prepared  and  for  a  few  years 
they  lived  in  true  primitive  pioneer  style  in  a 
log  house,  but  while  the  young  wife  faithfully 
performed  the  duties  of  the  household  Mr. 
Herbison  energetically  carried  on  the  farm 
work,  clearing  the  fields,  building  fences  and 
improving  the  property.  As  the  years  passed 
by  nine  children,  three  sons  and  six  daughters, 
were  added  to  the  household,  namely :  Brant,  a 
machinist  living  in  Lansing;  Buford,  at  home; 


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Lewis,  who  is  in  the  railroad  service  of  the 
Michigan  Central  Railroad  Company;  Han- 
nah, who  is  engaged  in  the  millinery  business 
in  Lansing;  Eleanor,  the  wife  of  Henry  Luther, 
of  Kalamazoo,  Michigan;  Augusta,  Irene  and 
Ethel,  all  at  home;  and  Clara,  wife  of  A.  G. 
Gardner,  of  Ovid. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Herbison  has  al- 
ways been  identified  with  the  democracy  and 
cast  his  first  presidential  ballot  for  General 
George  B.  McClellan  in  1864.  He  has  at 
times,  however,  voted  regardless  of  party  ties 
and  his  last  presidential  vote  was  given  in  sup- 
port of  Theodore  Roosevelt.  At  local  elec- 
tions he  never  considers  himself  bound  to  party 
ties,  supporting  then  the  candidates  whom  he 
regards  as  best  qualified  for  office.  While  he 
and  his  wife  are  not  members  of  any  church 
they  attend  and  give  their  support  to  the  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  church  and  Mr.  Herbison  is  a 
member  of  the  Odd  Fellows  lodge  at  Bath,  in 
which  he  has  filled  all  of  the  offices  and  is  now 
past  grand.  He  has  likewise  been  sent  as  a 
delegate  to  the  grand  lodge  of  the  state  and 
he  and  his  wife  are  connected  with  the  Re- 
bekah  degree  and  Mrs.  Herbison  has  been  its 
delegate  to  the  grand  lodge.  He  is  familiar 
with  the  pioneer  history  of  Michigan  and  what 
to  many  is  a  matter  of  record  is  largely  to  him 
a  matter  of  experience  or  else  as  an  interested 
witness  he  has  seen  the  events  which  have 
marked  its  early  progress  and  improvement. 


WILLIAM  H.  LACY. 


Farming  interests  in  Victor  township  find  a 
worthy  representative  in  William  H.  Lacy,  who 
lives  on  section  36.  He  owns  two  hundred 
acres  of  richly  productive  land  located  within 
two  miles  of  Laingsburg,  and  in  his  farming 
operations  he  finds  ample  opportunity  for  the 
exercise  of  his  native  talents,  his  business  affairs 
being  capably  and  successfully  conducted.  Mr. 
Lacy  was  born  in  Oakland  county,  December 
19,  185 1,  and  is  a  son  of  Henry  C.  Lacy,  who 
is  mentioned  on  another  page  of  this  volume. 


His  youth  was  passed  in  Oakland,  Shiawassee 
and  Clinton  counties,  accompanying  his  parents 
on  their  various  removals.  His  education  was 
largely  acquired  in  the  district  schools  and  in 
Laingsburg,  and  he  remained  with  his  father 
until  he  had  attained  his  majority,  assisting  him 
in  carrying  on  the  work  of  the  home  farm. 
Thinking  to  find  another  occupation  more  con- 
genial and  profitable  he  then  engaged  in  the 
manufacture  of  lumber  and  shingles,  operating 
a  shinglemill  in  Lapeer  county  and  later  in 
Lake  county.  He  continued  in  the  business 
until  the  spring  of  1880,  turning  his  attention 
to  the  further  development  and  improvement 
of  this  place.  He  met  with  success  in  his  under- 
takings and  as  his  financial  resources  increased 
he  extended  the  boundaries  of  his  farm  by  ad- 
ditional purchase  until  he  now  owns  two  hun- 
dred acres  of  good  land  which  is  arable  and  pro- 
ductive. It  is  enclosed  with  a  good  fence  and 
the  equipments  of  a  model  farm  of  the  twentieth 
century  are  all  found  here,  including  a  pleasant 
residence  and  good  basement  barn  and  outbuild- 
ings for  the  shelter  of  grain  and  stock,  and  a 
well  kept  orchard.  He  has  ample  house  room 
for  binders,  mowers  and  other  farm  machinery, 
together  with  his  wagons  and  buggies,  and  he 
uses  the  latest  improved  farm  implements  to 
facilitate  the  work  of  the  fields  and  the  care 
of  the  crops.  In  addition  to  the  raising  of  the 
cereals  he  likewise  raises  good  stock,  making 
a  specialty  of  fine  sheep  of  the  black  top  and 
Spanish  Merino  breeds.  He  has  a  flock  of 
seventy  ewes  and  a  pure  blooded  registered  ram. 

On  the  30th  of  June,  1878,  Mr.  Lacy  was 
united  in  marriage  in  Lake  county,  Michigan, 
to  Miss  Rebecca  Brown,  a  native  of  Canada, 
who  was  reared  and  educated,  however,  in  Clin- 
ton and  Shiawassee  counties,  her  father,  James 
Brown,  having  been  one  of  the  early  settlers  of 
the  county.  They  are  both  well  known  socially 
and  the  hospitality  of  many  of  the  best  homes 
of  this  part  of  the  county  is  freely  and  cordially 
extended  them,  while  in  their  own  home  good 
cheer  abounds. 

Politically  Mr.  Lacy  is  a  republican  at  the 
present  time  but  was  reared  in  the  democratic 
faith  and  cast  his  first  ballot  for  Samuel  J.  Til- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


den.  He,  however,  supported  James  A.  Gar- 
field for  the  presidency  and  has  since  been  a 
republican.  He  has  never  sought  or  desired 
office,  giving  his  time  and  attention  to  his  busi- 
ness affairs  and  other  interests.  He  and  his 
wife  attend  the  Congregational  church  and  he 
belongs  to  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fel- 
lows and  the  Masonic  lodge,  both  of  Laings- 
burg,  while  he  and  his  wife  affiliate  with  the 
Eastern  Star.  He  is  a  representative  agri- 
culturist of  Clinton  county  and  like  many 
others  keeps  his  farm  in  excellent  condition, 
his  buildings  being  well  painted,  the  lawn  neatly 
trimmed,  the  fences  kept  in  good  repair,  and  in 
fact  everything  about  the  place  denotes  his  care, 
activity  and  enterprising  spirit. 


MARVIN  BABCOCK. 

Marvin  Babcock,  who  in  the  face  of  almost 
unsurmountable  difficulties  attained  success 
that  in  view  of  the  fact  seemed  almost  phenome- 
nal, was  for  many  years  a  prominent  and 
honored  citizen  of  St.  Johns,  where  he  died 
June  28,  1898.  He  was  born  July  2,  18 17,  and 
was  of  English  ancestry,  belonging  to  a  family 
whose  name  was  originally  Badcock.  His 
father,  Samuel  Babcock,  was  a  native  of  Wind- 
ham county,  Connecticut,  born  August  9,  1779, 
and  his  mother,  whose  maiden  name  was 
Clarissa  Brown,  was  also  a  native  of  the  Char- 
ter Oak  state  and  a  cousin  of  Lorenzo  Brown. 
They  were  married  September  8,  1800,  and 
eight  children  were  born  of  the  union,  of  whom 
Marvin  Babcock  was  the  youngest,  but  all  are 
now  deceased.  The  father  was  a  merchant  and 
was  one  of  the  founders  of  Hampton,  now  called 
Westmoreland,  in  Oneida  county,  New  York. 
When  the  war  of  1812  was  over,  however, 
prices  diminished  in  all  lines  of  business  and 
Mr.  Babcock's  failure  resulted.  The  sheriff 
sold  everything  he  had  and  in  accordance  with 
the  laws  of  that  day  (which,  viewed  in  the 
present  age  of  enlightenment,  seem  utterly  pre- 
posterous and  unjust),  put  the  debtor  in  jail 
at  Whitesboro.     Not  belonging  to  the  criminal 


class  he  was  put  "on  the  limits"  with  the 
privilege  of  returning  home  Saturday  night  to 
spend  Sunday  with  his  family,  but  he  was  not 
privileged  to  have  even  a  half  day  during  the 
week  wherein  to  earn  bread  for  his  wife  and 
children.  Mr.  Babcock  of  this  review  fre- 
quently related  how,  when  only  three  years  of 
age,  he  would  go  with  his  mother  to  the  jail 
to  see  his  father,  who  died  in  1820  of  quick 
consumption  after  six  months'  confinement  in 
prison  because  of  his  debts. 

Marvin  Babcock  was  not  a  strong  nor  robust 
lad  but  he  resolved  that  he  would  not  go  to 
the  poorhouse  and  that  earnest  labor  should  give 
him  a  good  living.  He  had  a  capital  of  one 
dollar  and  a  quarter,  which  he  invested  in  goods, 
starting  out  as  a  peddler,  and  he  continued  in 
that  work  until  he  had  gained  one  hundred  dol- 
lars. He  then  took  a  deck  passage  from  Buffalo 
to  Detroit  and  located  in  the  township  of  Web- 
ster, Washtenaw  county,  Michigan,  where  he 
found  a  neighborhood  of  friendly  people.  He 
purchased  a  tract  of  land  in  the  midst  of  the 
unbroken  forest  in  1837  and  then,  returning  to 
New  York,  he  resumed  business  as  a  peddler. 
In  1840  he  started  again  to  the  west  and  pur- 
chased a  flock  of  sheep  in  Ohio,  which  he  drove 
to  Washtenaw  county,  Michigan,  probably  the 
first  sheep  ever  brought  to  the  county.  In  i860 
he  started  for  Texas  with  a  drove  of  fine  wool 
sheep,  one  thousand  in  number,  intending  to 
enter  in  the  wool-growing  business  in  that 
state,  but  on  account  of  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil 
war  he  disposed  of  his  sheep  in  Iowa  and  did 
not  go  to  the  south. 

When  he  ceased  to  engage  in  the  peddling- 
business  Mr.  Babcock  sold  goods  at  Albion  and 
at  Otisco,  this  state,  and  subsequently  engaged 
in  the  conduct  of  a  jewelry  store  at  St.  Johns 
for  a  number  of  years.  He  was  well  fitted  for 
a  mercantile  line,  having  the  qualities  essential 
to  the  successful  merchant — the  ability  to  recog- 
nize the  wants  and  wishes  of  his  customers  and 
to  handle  all  business  interests  with  care  and 
precision.  Whatever  he  undertook  he  carried 
forward  to  successful  completion,  having  a 
strong  purpose  and  unfaltering  will  combined 
with  good  business  judgment  and  keen  sagacity. 


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MRS.  MARY  W.  BABCOCK. 


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MARVIN   BABCOCK. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


83 


At  the  time  of  the  gold  excitement  in  Cali- 
fornia Mr.  Babcock  became  possessed  of  a 
strong  desire  to  try  his  fortune  in  the  mines  of 
the  Pacific  coast  and  in  1852  went  by  the  over- 
land Fremont  route  to  California.  He  dug 
gold  with  his  own  hands  to  the  value  of  sixty- 
five  cents  and  then  became  ill  with  ague.  He 
purchased  twelve  bottles  of  medicine  at  three 
dollars  per  bottle,  which  largely  exhausted  his 
capital  and  after  remaining  for  four  weeks  on 
the  Pacific  coast  he  returned  home  by  way  of 
the  Isthmus  of  Panama. 

Mr.  Babcock  never  belonged  to  any  church 
nor  secret  society  save  one  and  he  ceased  affilia- 
tion with  that  after  attending  two  meetings. 
He  was  a  Spiritualist  and  was  widely  known 
on  account  of  his  opposition  to  the  teaching  of 
religion  in  the  public  schools.  He  published  a 
number  of  tracts  expressing  his  views  on  re- 
ligion, one  being  especially  notable — an  open 
letter  to  the  St.  Johns  school  board,  in  which 
he  protested  against  teaching  sectarianism  in 
the  public  schools.  This  work  was  translated 
into  some  languages  of  India  under  the  auspices 
of  the  Columbo  Theosophical  Society.  One  of 
the  thoughts  which  he  advanced  was  that  there 
were  over  one  thousand  religions  and  that  the 
best  one  is  that  which  has  the  most  humanity, 
that  most  loves  justice,  that  has  most  respect 
for  good  works  rather  than  for  faith  and  that 
is  possessed  of  a  disposition  to  sometimes  wil- 
lingly make  sacrifice  for  the  sake  of  peace  and 
the  gratification  of  others.  Mr.  Babcock's  be- 
lief was  always  for  better  religion,  one  that 
tended  to  ameliorate  the  hard  conditions  of 
mankind  to  bring  peace  and  harmony  between 
man  and  his  fellowman. 

Mr.  Babcock  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss 
Mary  Knight,  who  was  born  October  17,  1822, 
in  Verona,  Oneida  county,  New  York.  She 
was  the  eldest  daughter  of  Levi  Knight,  whose 
ancestors  were  of  English  lineage  and  settled 
in  Windham  county,  Vermont.  Her  great- 
grandfather, Jonathan  Knight,  was  an  officer 
of  the  Revolutionary  war.  About  the  time  of 
the  war  of  18 12  his  son  Levi  removed  with  his 
family  to  Oneida  county,  where  in  18 19  his 
son,   Levi  Knight,  Jr.,   was  married  to  Mrs. 


Catherine  Sivers,  nee  Near.  She  was  a  daugh- 
ter of  Conrad  Near,  who  was  captured  by  the 
Indians  when  a  boy  of  ten  years  and  was  taken 
to  Quebec,  where  he  was  held  until  the  close  of 
the  Revolutionary  war.  Mrs.  Babcock  is  the 
eldest  child  of  Levi  and  Catherine  Knight 
She  early  manifested  a  great  love  for  books  and 
throughout  her  entire  life  has  possessed  the 
same  interest  in  study,  reading  extensively  in  a 
wide  range  of  literature.  Her  youthful  school 
days  were  marked  by  diligence,  promptitude, 
efficiency  and  love  of  system  and  a  strong  de- 
sire for  improvement.  In  1835  her  parents 
came  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Livingston 
county,  where  there  were  no  schools,  so  that  she 
was  obliged  to  study  by  herself  and  her  text- 
books were  very  meager  and  of  primitive  char- 
acter. When  fifteen  years  of  age  she  began 
teaching  and  continued  that  work  until  the 
death  of  her  mother,  when  she  assumed  the  re- 
sponsibility of  managing  her  father's  house- 
hold until  he  was  married  a  second  time.  On 
the  1 8th  of  March,  1841,  she  gave  her  hand  in 
marriage  to  Marvin  Babcock,  and  they  began 
their  domestic  life  upon  a  farm.  Four  children 
were  born  of  this  union :  Sarah  Catherine,  born 
in  1842,  is  the  wife  of  Dr.  Stevenson,  of 
Morence,  Michigan.  Albert,  born  in  1844,  died 
in  1867.  George  M.,  born  in  1850,  died  in 
1853.  Charles  T.,  born  September  28,  1859, 
has  been  a  trader  among  the  Crow  Indians  in 
Montana  for  twenty-two  years.  While  on  his 
way  to  an  Indian  camp  with  two  companions 
during  his  first  year  in  that  state  he  got  lost  in 
a  blizzard  and  was  out  all  night.  When  cross- 
ing the  Yellowstone  river  his  horse  broke 
through  the  ice  and  in  a  drenched  condition  he 
traveled  twelve  miles  to  a  log  cabin,  his  feet 
being  terribly  frozen,  which  still  causes  him 
much  trouble.  He  was  married  June  22,  1887, 
to  Efifie  Chandler,  of  Sharon  Center,  Ohio,  and 
they  have  one  child,  May  E.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Babcock  celebrated  their  golden  wedding,  thus 
traveling  life's  journey  together  for  a  half  cen- 
tury, sharing  with  each  other  its  joys  and  sor- 
rows, its  adversity  and  prosperity,  their  meas- 
ure of  love  and  confidence  increasing  as  the 
years  went  by. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Mr.  Babcock  spent  the  last  years  of  his  life 
in  St.  Johns,  giving  his  attention  to  the  super- 
vision of  his  invested  interests  which  were  the 
outcome  of  his  life  of  industry,  perseverance 
and  business  activity,  and  he  certainly  deserved 
all  the  merit  and  praise  that  is  implied  in  the 
term — a  self-made  man.  His  was  an  eventful 
career  and  in  his  travels  throughout  the  coun- 
try he  learned  much  of  his  native  land.  Read- 
ing kept  him  in  touch  with  the  trend  of  mod- 
ern thought  and  he  was  a  student  of  many  of 
the  important  questions  which  affect  the  weal 
or  woe  of  mankind.  Since  her  husband's  death 
Mrs.  Babcock  has  continued  to  reside  in  St. 
Johns.  She  has  been  prominent  in  all  literary 
societies  here  and  in  many  progressive  move- 
ments and  still  bears  the  distinction  of  being 
an  honored  member  and  one  of  the  founders  of 
the  St.  Johns  Ladies'  Library.  She  was  one 
of  the  promoters  of  the  Ladies'  Literary  Society 
of  St.  Johns,  which  was  organized  in  her  house, 
was  its  president  for  fourteen  years  and  is  still 
one  of  its  executive  committee.  She  has  been 
active  in  Chautauqua  circles,  in  temperance  and 
in  church  work  and  aid  societies.  She  finds  one 
of  her  chief  sources  of  pleasure  in  her  fine 
library,  which  she  has  accumulated  as  the  years 
have  gone  by.  She  regards  her  books  as  among 
her  dearest  friends  and  spends  many  pleasant 
hours  in  the  companionship  of  the  choice  minds 
of  the  ages.  She  has  one  of  the  finest  col- 
lections of  Indian  curios  in  the  state  and  has 
a  comprehensive  knowledge  of  the  tribes  repre- 
sented thereby.  Her  life  has  been  filled  with 
many  good  deeds  and  both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bab- 
cock have  carved  out  for  themselves  a  splendid 
place  in  the  world  for  with  limited  advantages 
in  youth  they  steadily  progressed  in  that  line 
of  life  demanding  strong  intellectuality,  laud- 
able purpose  and  consecutive  endeavor. 


WILLIAM  A.  KROM. 


Elsie  has  a  good  percentage  of  retired  men — 
men  who  once  active  in  business  life  have  ac- 
cumulated therein  a  competence  that  now  en- 


ables them  to  rest  in  the  enjoyment  of  a  well 
earned  ease.  To  this  class  belongs  Mr.  Krom, 
who  for  many  years  was  prominent  and  influ- 
ential in  commercial  and  industrial  circles  en- 
gaged in  the  manufacture  of  lumber  and  in 
farming  pursuits,  which  he  followed  in  Gratiot 
county.  Since  1849  he  has  made  his  home  in 
Michigan,  and  his  birth  occurred  in  Orange 
county,  New  York,  August  14,  1835,  so  that 
he  was  fourteen  years  of  age  when  he  came  to 
this  state.  His  father  was  Andrew  Krom, 
who  was  born  in  Ulster  county,  New  York,  in 
February,  18 13,  and  was  a  son  of  Henry 
Krom,  also  a  native  of  that  county.  He  was 
of  Holland  lineage  and  the  great-grandfather 
of  our  subject  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of 
Ulster  county.  Andrew  Krom  there  spent  the 
days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth  and  after  ar- 
riving at  years  of  maturity  was  married  there 
to  Miss  Hulda  Skinner,  a  native  of  Orange 
county,  New  York.  He  had  learned  the  black- 
smith's trade,  which  he  followed  in  Orange 
county  until  1849,  when,  attracted  by  the  op- 
portunities of  the  great  and  growing  west  he 
came  to  Michigan,  settling  first  in  Kalamazoo 
county.  Here  he  located  on  a  farm  and  he 
also  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  lumber, 
owning  and  operating  a  sawmill.  He  spent 
his  last  years  in  Kalamazoo,  where  he  died 
about  1885.  He  was  twice  married,  his  first 
wife  passing  away  in  1854.  William  A.  Krom 
is  one  of  four  children,  of  whom  three  are  yet 
living,  the  others  being :  George,  a  farmer  re- 
siding in  Gratiot  county;  and  Mrs.  James 
Clarke,  who  is  also  living  in  Gratiot  county. 
The  other  member  of  the  family  was  James 
Krom,  who  grew  to  manhood  and  was  mar- 
ried, after  which  he  took  up  his  abode  in  Or- 
ange county,  New  York,  where  his  death  oc- 
curred. 

William  A.  Krom  came  to  Michigan  with 
his  parents  in  1849.  He  was  reared  in  Kala- 
mazoo and  remained  with  his  father  until  he 
had  attained  his  majority.  He  then  went  to 
Gratiot  county,  where  he  took  charge  of  his 
father's  lumber  business,  of  which  he  ulti- 
mately became  the  owner.  He  cut  lumber  and 
was  quite  successful  in  the  conduct  of  this  en- 


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terprise.  His  father  owned  twenty-two  eighty- 
acre  tracts  of  timber  land,  covered  with  a  very 
dense  growth  of  trees.  From  this  land  Mr. 
Krom  cut  his  timber  for  a  number  of  years — 
in  fact  cleared  the  entire  land  in  this  way.  He 
also  began  the  development  of  a  farm,  clearing 
two  hundred  acres  in  his  homestead  place.  He 
still  owns  this  property,  which  is  now  a  valu- 
able and  well  improved  tract  of  land,  pleas- 
antly located  within  four  miles  of  Elsie.  There 
he  carried  on  general  farming  for  a  number 
of  years,  after  which  he  bought  a  residence  in 
Elsie,  where  he  now  makes  his  home.  In  all 
of  his  work  he  was  practical,  energetic  and  en- 
terprising, carrying  forward  to  successful  com- 
pletion whatever  he  undertook.  As  the  years 
passed  by,  owing  to  his  excellent  management 
and  unfaltering  diligence,  he  accumulated  a 
handsome  competence  that  now  enables  him  to 
live  retired. 

In  Gratiot  county,  on  the  12th  of  January, 
1869,  Mr-  Krom  was  married  to  Miss  Hettie 
Oberlin,  who  was  born  in  Lansing,  Michigan, 
and  is  a  daughter  of  Allen  Oberlin,  one  of  the 
first  settlers  of  that  city,  who  later  removed 
to  Gratiot  county.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Krom  be- 
came the  parents  of  two  daughters:  Julia  A., 
who  married  William  Snelling,  cashier  of  the 
Fowler  Bank,  and  who  died  November  26, 
1894;  and  Mary,  wife  of  E.  E.  Snelling,  a 
farmer  and  business  man  of  Elsie.  Mr.  Krom 
was  called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of  his  wife 
in  1873,  her  death  occurring  in  Ovid  in  De- 
cember of  that  year,  her  remains  being  interred 
in  the  Ovid  cemetery. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Krom  is  a  repub- 
lican, having  given  earnest  and  unfaltering 
support  to  the  principles  of  the  party  since  he 
cast  his  first  presidential  ballot  for  John  C. 
Fremont  in  1856.  He  has  never  failed  to  vote 
at  a  presidential  election  and  has  been  most 
loyal  to  the  principles  which  he  believes  con- 
tain the  best  elements  of  good  government.  In 
Gratiot  county  he  served  as  township  treas- 
urer, filling  the  office  for  thirteen  consecutive 
years.  He  afterward  removed  to  Ovid  in  or- 
der that  he  might  educate  his  daughters,  spend- 
ing two  years  in  that  place.    Returning  to  his 


farm,  however,  he  was  once  more  called  to 
public  office,  being  again  elected  township 
treasurer.  He  acted  in  that  capacity  until  he 
declined  to  serve  longer.  He  was  a  delegate 
to  various  state  conventions  and  has  aided  in 
nominating  for  a  high  office  a  number  of  the 
distinguished  men  of  the  state.  He  is  regarded 
as  a  local  political  leader  and  in  matters  of  citi- 
zenship is  always  found  progressive  and  public- 
spirited.  He  belongs  to  the  Masonic  frater- 
nity at  Elsie,  having  been  initiated  into  the 
lodge  here.  Mr.  Krom  has  led  a  life  of  intense 
and  well  directed  activity  that  has  made  him 
a  useful  and  prominent  citizen.  He  took  a 
very  active  part  in  clearing  the  country  of  its 
timber  and  making  it  suitable  for  cultivation 
and  his  efforts  have  been  far-reaching  and  ben- 
eficial along  many  lines  that  have  contributed 
to  the  material,  intellectual  and  political  prog- 
ress of  this  part  of  the  state. 


CLARENCE  McFARREN. 

Clarence  McFarren,  living  on  section  ior 
Bath  township,  was  born  in  Washtenaw 
county,  Michigan,  August  2,  1857.  His  father, 
John  McFarren,  a  pioneer  resident  of  this  state, 
was  a  native  of  New  York,  born  in  Yates 
county  in  181 1,  and  there  he  was  reared  and 
married.  He  wedded  Miss  Caroline  Johnson, 
likewise  a  native  of  that  county,  and  in  order  to 
provide  for  his  wife  and  himself  he  followed 
the  carpenter's  trade,  which  he  had  learned  in 
early  life.  In  the  year  1833,  attracted  by  the 
possibilities  of  the  great  and  growing  west,  he 
came  to  Michigan  and  was  one  of  the  first  to 
establish  a  home  within  the  territory  of  Wash- 
tenaw county.  He  found  here  large  tracts  of 
land  covered  with  the  native  forests  and  he 
entered  a  claim  from  the  government  and  be- 
gan opening  up  a  farm.  He  also  conducted  a 
lumber  business,  the  vast  forests  of  this  region 
affording  excellent  opportunities  to  the  lumber 
manufacturer  and  Mr.  McFarren  owned  and 
operated  a  sawmill.  He  reared  his  family  in 
Washtenaw  county  and  then  in  1858  removed 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


to  Shiawassee  county,  where  he  bought  one 
hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  and  began  im- 
proving a  farm.  Still  later  he  sold  that  property 
and  took  up  his  abode  in  Bath  township,  Clinton 
county,  on  the  place  where  his  son  Clarence 
now  resides.  He  spent  his  last  days  here,  pass- 
ing away  in  1888,  while  his  wife  survived  him 
until  1889,  when  she  was  laid  to  rest  by  his 
side  in  Rose  cemetery.  In  their  family  were 
nine  children,  three  sons  and  six  daughters,  of 
whom  the  sons  and  three  daughters  are  yet 
living. 

Clarence  McFarren  was  a  youth  of  thirteen 
years  when  his  parents  located  upon  this  farm. 
He  is  indebted  to  the  public-school  system  of 
Michigan  for  the  educational  privileges  he  en- 
joyed. In  this  county  he  attended  district 
school  No.  to  and  through  the  periods  of  vaca- 
tion he  was  actively  engaged  in  assisting  his 
father  in  the  farm  work  and  later  he  cared  for 
his  parents  in  their  declining  years.  Succeed- 
ing to  the  ownership  of  the  old  homestead 
property  he  has  further  continued  the  work  of 
development  and  improvement  and  now  has  a 
splendid  farm,  on  which  he  has  erected  a  two- 
story  brick  residence  that  is  one  of  the  pleasant 
features  of  the  landscape.  He  has  also  built  a 
big  basement  barn  and  has  fenced  his  place,  also 
divided  it  into  fields  of  convenient  size  in  this 
manner.  An  orchard  of  his  own  planting  yields 
its  fruits  in  season  and  the  fields  return  him 
rich  harvests.  Year  after  year  he  has  prospered 
and  yet  his  work  has  not  been  without  its  draw- 
backs and  difficulties,  for  in  1901  he  had  a 
large  barn  destroyed  by  fire.  However,  he  has 
since  built  a  better  one  with  a  basement.  He 
owns  ninety  acres  of  land  with  forty  acres  in 
the  home  place. 

On  the  22d  of  July,  1882,  in  Bath  township, 
Mr.  McFarren  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss 
Ida  M.  Thompson,  a  native  of  Michigan,  her 
birth  having  occurred  in  Bath  township,  Clinton 
county.  Her  father,  Wilbur  Thompson,  is  one 
of  the  old  settlers  of  the  state,  coming  from 
Pennsylvania  to  Michigan  and  on  another  page 
of  this  work  more  extended  mention  is  made 
of  him.  One  child  has  been  born  unto  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  McFarren,  Wendell,  a  young  man,  who 


assists  in  the  improvement  of  the  home  property. 
Politically  Mr.  McFarren  is  independent, 
supporting  men  and  measures  rather  than  party, 
and  while  he  has  never  cared  for  office  he  has 
served  as  highway  commissioner  for  two  years 
and  has  for  twenty  years  been  a  member  of 
the  school  board,  during  which  time  he  has 
done  effective  service  for  the  cause  of  education, 
which  finds  in  him  a  warm  friend.  He  believes 
in  the  employment  of  good  teachers  and  in  con- 
tinually raising  the  standard  of  the  schools  and 
he  is  now  chairman  of  the  board.  He  has 
membership  relations  with  the  Maccabees  and 
is  known  as  one  of  the  representative  citizens 
of  the  community,  having  lived  in  the  county 
from  his  youth  to  the  present  time,  during  which 
time  he  has  closely  adhered  to  a  high  standard 
of  ethics,  living  at  peace  with  his  fellowmen, 
treating  all  honorably  and  fairly  in  business  re- 
lations and  proving  loyal  to  the  ties  of  friend- 
ship. 


JOHN  T.  ABBOTT,  M.  D. 

Dr.  John  T.  Abbott,  who  since  1875  has  en- 
gaged in  the  practice  of  medicine  in  Ovid,  was 
born  in  Devonshire,  England,  February  21, 
1839,  his  parents  being  John  and  Mary  Abbott, 
also  natives  of  England.  He  began  his  educa- 
tion in  the  schools  of  his  native  land  and  when 
a  young  man  of  eighteen  years  came  to  America, 
sailing  up  the  river  St.  Lawrence  to  Lake  On- 
tario, landing  at  Port  Hope.  He  continued  his 
journey  by  rail  as  far  as  the  Port  Hope  & 
Lindsay  Railroad  was  completed  and  this  took 
him  into  the  midst  of  a  thickly  wooded  coun- 
try, where  he  had  to  hire  a  team  to  complete 
the  journey  to  the  village  of  Omemee,  There 
he  again  had  to  hire  teams  to  drive  him  into 
Mariposa  township,  Victoria  county,  which  was 
his  destination.  Securing  employment  as  a  farm 
hand,  he  there  remained  for  about  four  years 
and  during  the  last  three  years  of  the  time  he 
also  attended  the  Oakwood  high  school,  from 
which  he  was  graduated  in  1861.  After  pass- 
ing the  county  examination  he  began  teaching 
and  after  one  and  a  half  years  he  entered  the 


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DR.  J.  T.  ABBOTT. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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Toronto  Normal  School,  from  which  he  was 
graduated  in  the  junior  division  in  1864  and  m 
the  senior  division  in  June,  1865.  In  that  year 
he  accepted  a  position  in  a  Walkerville  school 
and  finished  the  last  half  of  the  year  1865.  He 
then  again  returned  east  and  for  four  years  was 
engaged  in  teaching  in  Haldimand  county,  On- 
tario. On  the  expiration  of  that  period  he 
entered  the  Victoria  University  at  Toronto  to 
study  medicine  and  was  graduated  in  1872. 
Through  the  succeeding  two  years  he  was  in 
Toronto  General  Hospital  and  he  thereby  added 
to  his  theoretical  knowledge  the  experiences  of 
a  broad,  general  hospital  practice.  Determin- 
ing to  remove  to  the  United  States  he  came  to 
Clinton  county  in  1875,  settling  in  Ovid,  where 
he  has  since  made  his  home. 

Dr.  Abbott  was  married  July  12,   1879,  to 
Miss  Clara  B.  Harrington,  a  daughter  of  the 
late  De  Witt  C.  Harrington,  of  Ovid,  and  they 
have   three  children,    Anna,    Grace   and  John. 
The  daughters  are  attending  the  Ypsilanti  Nor- 
mal School  and  in  addition  to  the  regular  course 
Grace  has  completed  a  course  in  music  and  is 
an  accomplished  pianist.     She  is  now  teaching 
music  at  Dearborn,  Michigan,  and  is  also  tak- 
ing instruction  on  the  pipe  organ  and  in  vocal 
music.     Mrs.  Abbott's  parents  were  natives  of 
New   York   state  and  were   among  the  early 
settlers  of  Michigan,  both  the  father  and  mother 
coming   with    their   respective   parents   to   this 
state  when  children,  settling  in  Oakland  county, 
near  New  Hudson.     After  their  marriage  they 
removed  to  Shiawassee  county,  where  they  re- 
sided on  a  farm  for  a  number  of  years  but  sub- 
sequently they  took  up  their  abode  in  Ovid, 
Clinton  •  county,  where  the  father  died,  leaving 
a  widow   and    four  children,    of  whom   three 
daughters  yet  survive,    namely:    Mrs.    J.    T. 
Abbott,   with  whom   the  mother  resided  until 
called  to  her  final  rest;  Mrs.  Cornelia  Hutchins, 
of  Ovid;  and  Mrs.  Edward  Conant,  of  Owosso. 
Mrs.  Abbott  is  among  the  earnest  church  work- 
ers of  the  Methodist  denomination  at  Ovid  and 
does  all  in  her  power  to  promote  the  growth  and 
insure  the  success  of  the  church.    She  has  been 
matron  of  the  Eastern  Star  lodge  and  a  promi- 
nent worker  in  the  order. 


Dr.  Abbott  holds  membership  in  Ovid  lodge, 
No.  27,  A.  F.  &  A.  M. ;  Ovid  chapter,  R.  A. 
M.;  St.  Johns  commandery,  K.  T.;  and  Ovid 
court,  A.  O.  U.  W.,  of  which  he  is  court  ex- 
aminer. He  has  been  a  member  of  the  com- 
mandery for  over  twenty  years.  During  his 
residence  in  this  county  he  has  gained  and  re- 
tained a  prominent  place  in  professional  circles 
accorded  him  by  reason  of  his  skill  and  pro- 
ficiency as  a  medical  and  surgical  practitioner. 
He  has  very  closely  adhered  to  a  high  standard 
of  professional  ethics  and  his  growing  practice 
is  an  indication  of  the  trust  reposed  in  him  by 
the  community  at  large. 


HENRY  E.  WALBRIDGE. 

Henry  E.  Walbridge  is  a  representative  of 
a  family  whose  history  is  one  of  close  connec- 
tion with  the  annals  of  the  Clinton  county  bar 
and  who  because  of  research  and  provident  care 
in  the  preparation  of  his  cases  has  gained  a 
position  of  distinction  as  a  practitioner  in  St. 
Johns.  He  is  a  native  of  Glover,  Vermont, 
born  March  31,  1850,  and  was  only  about  two 
years  old  when  brought  to  Michigan  by  his 
parents,  Captain  Henry  and  Zilpah  (Allen) 
Walbridge,  of  whom  personal  mention  is  made 
on  another  page  of  this  volume.  His  father 
was  a  leading  lawyer  of  central  Michigan  and 
his  mother,  a  native  of  Vermont,  belonged  to 
the  same  family  of  which  General  Ethan  Allen, 
the  hero  of  Ticonderoga,  was  a  member.  Of 
the  three  surviving  members  of  the  family  of 
Captain  Henry  Walbridge,  Henry  E,  of  this 
review  is  the  eldest.  His  brother,  Edward  L., 
is  also  a  practicing  attorney  of  St.  Johns,  while 
the  sister,  Mrs.  Ella  De  May,  is  living  in  Jack- 
son, Michigan. 

The  early  boyhood  days  of  Henry  E.  Wal- 
bridge were  spent  in  Saline,  Michigan,  and 
when  five  years  of  age  he  came  with  the  family 
to  St.  Johns,  where  he  pursued  his  early  educa- 
tion in  the  Union  school  and  in  St.  Johns  high 
school.  Having  prepared  for  college,  at  the 
age  of  seventeen  he  matriculated  in  Olivet  Col- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


lege,  where  he  pursued  a  scientific  course,  and 
then  entered  upon  the  study  of  law  in  the  office 
and  under  the  direction  of  his  father,  being  thus 
truly  favored  in  his  tutelage.     The  week  after 
attaining  his  majority  he  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  and  also  to  a  partnership  with  his  father, 
a  relation  which  continued  until  his  father  re- 
moved to  Ithaca,  Michigan,  in  1890.     The  son 
at    that    time    entered    into    partnership    with 
General  O.  L.  Spaulding,  but  at  the  expiration 
of  two  years  the  relationship  was  discontinued 
and  Mr.  Walbridge  practiced  alone  until  May, 
1893,  when  he  became  associated  with  J.  H. 
Federoa,  with  whom  he  continued  until  the  lat- 
ter's  death  in  January,  1901.     He  then  formed 
a  partnership  with  his  brother,  Edward  L.  Wal- 
bridge, but  in  May,  1905,  the  business  relation 
between  them  was  discontinued  and  they  are 
both  practicing  alone  in  St.  Johns. 

In  1872  Henry  E.  Walbridge  was  elected  cir- 
cuit court  commissioner,  which  position  he  filled 
for  six  years.     He  has  been  retained  either  as 
counsel  for  the  prosecution  or  defense  m  nu- 
merous important  cases  tried  in  the  supreme 
court  and  has  won  almost  every  case  through 
the  carefulness  and  thoroughness  of  his  prepar- 
ation to  facilitate  his  strength  in  argument  and 
his  thorough  familiarity  with  the  principles  ot 
jurisprudence.     He  stands  among  the  men  who 
are  in  the  front  rank  of  professional  progress. 
He  is  widely  known   in  the  legal   fraternity 
through  his  agency  in  establishing  the  law  in 
Michigan  upon  many  points,  reaching  many  de- 
cisions which  have  served  as  precedence.     He 
practices  in  the  courts  of  Clinton  and  all  ad- 
joining counties  and  has  a  distinctively  repre- 
sentative clientage.    At  no  time  has  his  reading 
ever  been   confined  to  the   limitations   of  the 
questions  at  issue;  it  has  gone  beyond  and  com- 
passed every  contingency  and  provided  not  alone 
for  the  expected  but  for  the  unexpected,  which 
happens  in  the  courts  quite  as  frequently  as  out 
of  them.     He  is  now  a  member  of  the  State 
Bar  Association. 

Mr  Walbridge  is  an  enthusiastic  republican, 
active  and  courageous  in  support  of  the  party 
principles  yet  having  no  desire  for  political 
preferment   as   he   wishes   to   concentrate  his 


energies  upon  his  professional  duties.  He, 
however,  is  interested  in  all  matters  of  local  and 
public  progress  and  has  been  especially  helpful 
in  movements  for  the  benefit  and  upbuilding  of 
St.  Johns. 

On  the  18th  of  October,  1896,  Mr.  Wal- 
bridge was  married  to  Miss  Jessie  Smead  Cald- 
well, of  St.  Johns.  By  a  previous  marriage  he 
has  two  daughters,  Neva  T.  and  Mabel  S. 
Especially  modest  in  his  bearing  and  considerate 
of  others,  there  is,  however,  no  vacillating  in 
his  adherence  to  a  cause  to  which  he  gives  his 
support  or  a  principle  in  which  he  believes. 
His  acquaintance  in  St.  Johns  is  wide  and 
favorable  and  his  position  in  legal  circles  is 
the  ultimate  result  of  his  capability  in  the  line 
of  his  chosen  profession. 


ALBERT  L.  VAN  SICKLE. 

Thoroughly  progressive  and  modern  in  all  his 
methods  of  farming  Albert  L.  Van  Sickle  is 
successfully  conducting  his  home  place  of  one 
hundred  and  seventy-four  acres  which  lies  par- 
tially in  Clinton  and  partially  in  Gratiot  county 
within  two  miles  of  Maple  Rapids.     He  was 
born  in  Essex  township,  Clinton  county,  Octo- 
ber  2,    1862.     His   paternal   grandfather   was 
Cornelius  Van  Sickle,  who  became  an  early  set- 
tler of  Ohio,  whence  he  afterward  removed  to^ 
Michigan,  casting  in  his  lot  with  the  pioneers  of 
Clinton  county.    He  established  his  home  in  the 
town  of  Essex  and  met  the  usual  experiences 
and  hardships  of  life  on  the  frontier  but  aided 
in  laying  broad  and  deep  the  foundation  for  the 
present  prosperity  and  progress  of  the  county. 
His  son,  Lyman  Van  Sickle,  was  born  in  Ohk> 
in   1834  and  was  reared  to  manhood  in  this 
county  amid  frontier  environments.  He  wedded 
Miss   Martha   McPherson,  who   was   born   in 
Ohio  and  came  to  Michigan  with  her  father, 
Stephen  McPherson,  who  was  another  of  the 
old  settlers  of  Michigan,  living  in  Essex  town- 
ship.    Lyman  Van  Sickle  became  a  farmer  of 
Essex  township  and  there  devoted  his  energies 
to  agricultural  pursuits  until   1861,  when  he- 


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joined  Company  G,  of  the  Fifth  Michigan  Cav- 
alry. He  was  taken  prisoner  at  the  battle  of 
Gettysburg  and  incarcerated  at  Andersonville, 
where  he  died  on  the  31st  of  August,  1863.  His 
wife  survived  him  and  reared  their  family, 
doing  a  mother's  full  duty  toward  the  little  ones 
left  to  her  care. 

Albert  L.  Van  Sickle  was  only  about  a  year 
old  at  the  time  of  his  father's  death.  He  spent 
his  youth  in  Essex  township  and  was  educated 
in  the  schools  of  Maple  Rapids.  Later  he  be- 
came identified  with  commercial  interests  in  the 
village,  conducting  a  general  store  and  later  a 
hardware  business.  Subsequently  he  sold  out 
and  took  up  his  abode  upon  a  farm  but  after- 
ward again  embarked  in  general  merchandising 
and  was  thus  connected  with  commercial  in- 
terests in  Maple  Rapids  for  seven  years.  On 
again  disposing  of  his  stock  of  goods  he  located 
on  his  farm  and  now  gives  his  time  and  atten- 
tion to  general  agricultural  pursuits  and  stock- 
raising.  He  now  owns  one  hundred  and 
seventy-four  acres  of  land  lying  partially  in 
Clinton  and  partially  in  Gratiot  county  and  con- 
stituting a  very  valuable  and  productive  farm, 
which  in  its  neat  and  thrifty  appearance  indi- 
cates his  careful  supervision  and  practical 
methods. 

Mr.  Van  Sickle  was  married  in  Maple  Rapids, 
in  1885,  to  Miss  Fannie  £.  Moss,  who  was 
born  and  reared  in  this  county,  pursuing  her 
education  in  the  schools  of  Maple  Rapids,  after 
which  she  engaged  in  teaching  prior  to  her  mar- 
riage. Her  father,  Hiram  L.  Moss,  was  an- 
other worthy  pioneer  settler  of  the  county.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Van  Sickle  have  become  the  parents 
of  eight  children,  Inez,  Moss,  Glen,  Hazel, 
Harry,  Paul,  Florence  and  Gerald. 

Mr.  Van  Sickle  votes  with  the  democratic 
party  where  national  issues  are  involved  but 
wisely  disregards  party  ties  at  local  elections 
wThere  there  is  no  political  issue  before  the  peo- 
ple and  only  the  capability  of  the  candidate 
should  be  considered.  He  believes  in  good 
schools  and  the  employment  of  competent  teach- 
ers and  is  now  serving  for  the  second  term  as 
a  member  of  the  school  board.  He  belongs  to 
the  Knights  of  the  Maccabees,  a  fraternal  insur- 
ance organization,  and  also  carries  insurance  in 


some  of  the  old-line  companies.  He  is  a  man 
of  good  business  ability,  active,  diligent  and 
prosperous,  and  has  always  been  connected  with 
Clinton  county  and  its  people  so  that  his  life 
history  is  well  known  to  his  fellow  townsmen 
and  that  he  has  made  a  creditable  record  is  indi- 
cated by  the  fact  that  many  of  his  stanchest 
friends  are  those  who  have  known  him  from  his 
boyhood  to  the  present  time. 


LEVI  P.   PARTLOW. 

Levi  P.  Partlow  is  one  of  the  native  sons  of 
Clinton  county  who  has  demonstrated  the  pos- 
sibility for  successful  achievement  along  agri- 
cultural lines.  He  resides  on  section  32,  Eagle 
township,  where  he  has  valuable  property  inter- 
ests, his  farm  returning  to  him  a  very  gratify- 
ing annual  income.  He  was  born  upon  this 
farm  July  26,  1846,  his  parents  being  Palmer 
and  Eliza  (Sanders)  Partlow,  both  of  whom 
were  natives  of  St.  Lawrence  county,  New 
York.  The  paternal  grandfather,  Ransom 
Partlow,  was  a  native  of  Scotland,  and  died  in 
St.  Lawrence  county,  while  the  maternal  grand- 
father, David  Sanders,  was  born  in  the  Empire 
state.  Pie  followed  the  lumber  business  there 
and  afterward  in  Gratiot  county,  Michigan. 

Subsequent  to  their  marriage  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Palmer  Partlow  came  to  Clinton  county,  Michi- 
gan, and  settled  on  the  farm  now  owned  by 
their  son  Levi.  The  tract  of  land  was  wild 
when  it  came  into  their  possession  and  the 
father  cut  the  first  stick  of  timber  there  in 
1840.  His  remaining  days  were  passed  upon 
this  place  and  he  performed  a  helpful  part  in 
the  work  of  early  progress  and  improvement,  re- 
claiming the  wild  land  for  the  purposes  of 
civilization.  He  was  also  active  in  public  affairs, 
and  took  the  contract  for  carrying  the  United 
States  mail.  He  was  a  devoted  member  and 
active  worker  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church  and  was  prominent  in  all  that  pertained 
to  the  material,  intellectual  and  moral  progress 
of  his  community.  In  connection  with  his  farm- 
ing interests  he  operated  a  threshing  machine 
for  some  years  and  he  was  classed  with  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


sturdy  pioneer  settlers  through  whose  efforts 
was  laid  broad  and  deep  the  foundation  upon 
which  has  been  built  the  superstructure  of  the 
county's  present  prosperity  and  progress.  He 
was  in  limited  financial  circumstances  when  he 
came  to  the  west  but  as  the  years  passed  by  he 
prospered  in  his  undertakings  and  as  his  means 
permitted  he  displayed  a  very  benevolent  and 
charitable  spirit,  the  poor  and  needy  finding  in 
him  a  warm  friend.  He  was  also  well  liked, 
was  popular  with  his  fellow  townsmen  and 
made  a  most  honorable  record  so  that  he  left  his 
family  the  priceless  heritage  of  an  untarnished 
name.  He  died  in  1884,  at  the  age  of  eighty 
years,  while  his  wife  passed  away  in  1894,  at 
the  age  of  seventy-nine  years.  In  their  family 
were  six  children,  of  whom  'Levi  P.  is  the 
youngest  and  only  one  other,  John,  of  Eagle 
township,  is  now  living.  Those  deceased  are : 
Samantha,  who  was  the  wife  of  Matthew 
Davenport,  of  Eagle  township;  Maranda,  the 
wife  of  James  Dewitt,  of  Eagle  township; 
Almond,  who  died  in  the  village  of  Eagle  in 
July,  1903;  and  Jonathan,  a  twin  brother,  of 
John,  who  died  at  the  age  of  eight  years. 

Levi  P.  Partlow  pursued  his  education  in  a 
select  school  conducted  by  J.  V.  Jones  and  also 
in  the  local  district  schools.     He  has  always 
resided   upon   the   old   homestead    farm.      His 
father  first  settled  here  on  twenty-two  and  a 
half  acres  of  land  but  increased  his  holdings 
until  he  had  nearly  three  hundred  acres,  which 
is    the    present    extent    of    the    farm.     When 
eighteen  years  of  age  Levi   P.   Partlow  took 
charge  of  the  home  place  because  of  his  father's 
ill  health,  first  operating  it  on  the  shares  but 
eventually  he  became  the  owner  and  now  con- 
tinues the  cultivation  and  improvement  of  the 
property  which  is  to-day  one  of  the  finest  farms 
in  Clinton  county.     He  built  a  modern  brick 
residence  in  1900,  having  all  the  conveniences 
of  a  city  home,  this  replacing  his  farm  residence, 
which  was  destroyed  by  fire.     The  barns  and 
other  outbuildings  are  thoroughly  modern  and 
are  commodious,  furnishing  ample  shelter  for 
grain  and  stock.     Mr.   Partlow  is  one  of  the 
few  native  sons  who  desire  to  cling  to  his  na- 
tive   heath    instead    of    seeking    the    seeming 


changes  of  the  outside  world,  and  his  choice 
was  a  wise  one,  for  in  the  control  of  his  farm- 
ing interests  here  he  has  won  success,  gaining 
a  very  desirable  competency.  He  was  also  en- 
abled to  care  for  his  parents  until  the  close  of 
their  lives,  which  gave  to  him  much  satisfaction 
in  the  discharge  of  this  duty.  He  has  always 
taken  a  deep  and  helpful  interest  in  matters  per- 
taining to  the  general  welfare  and  in  1900  he 
served  as  chairman  of  the  building  committee 
at  the  time  of  the  erection  of  the  new  brick 
Methodist  Episcopal  church  in  his  neighbor- 
hood. It  is  a  fine  structure  for  a  country 
church  and  is  known  as  the  Union  Cemetery 
church.  Mr.  Partlow  also  takes  pride  in  the 
improvement  of  Union  Cemetery,  which  was 
established  by  his  father  and  neighbors  when 
the  land  throughout  this  territory  was  wild  and 
unimproved.  Whatever  pertains  to  the  general 
welfare  or  upbuilding  elicits  his  attention  and 
support  and  he  has  co-operated  in  many  pro- 
gressive public  measures. 

His  activity  in  political  circles  has  also  been 
beneficial.  He  was  the  first  postmaster  of  the 
River  Bend  postoffice,  established  on  his  farm, 
appointed  under  Randolph  Strickland  during 
President  Grant's  administration.  He  acted  in 
that  capacity  for  twelve  years  or  until  the  post- 
office  was  discontinued  on  account  of  change 
in  route.  He  has  also  been  justice  of  the  peace 
for  several  terms,  a  member  of  the  board  of 
review  and  highway  commissioner,  but  still 
greater  political  honors  have  been  conferred 
upon  him  for  in  1903  he  was  elected  to  repre- 
sent Clinton  county  in  the  state  legislature  and 
was  re-elected  in  1904.  In  the  first  year  he  re- 
ceived a  majority  of  six  hundred  and  fifty  and 
the  second  year  of  fourteen  hundred — a  fact 
which  is  indicative  of  his  personal  popularity, 
the  confidence  reposed  in  him  by  his  fellow 
townsmen  and  his  fidelity  to  duty.  He  proved 
an  active  working  member  of  the  house,  being 
connected  with  considerable  constructive  legis- 
lature and  he  introduced  and  supported  a  num- 
ber of  important  bills  there  which  were  carried 
through  successfully. 

On  the  nth  of  August,  1867,  Mr.  Partlow 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Mary  J.  Blasier, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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a  daughter  of  Peter  and  Phoebe  (Johnson) 
Blasier,  of  Oneida  township,  Eaton  county, 
Michigan.  Her  father,  as  well  as  Mr.  Part- 
low's  father,  was  among  the  first  settlers  of 
the  locality  and  they  were  great  friends.  The 
children  of  this  marriage  are  as  follows :  Levi 
Blaiser  Partlow,  living  on  the  home  farm, 
wedded  Mary  Stokes,  a  daughter  of  David 
Stokes,  of  Eaton  county.  Parmie  died  at  the 
age  of  eight  years.  After  the  death  of  Parmie 
a  little  girl  was  taken  in  the  home,  Annie 
Tillman,  who  is  now  the  wife  of  Charles  Rath- 
foot,  and  they  have  two  children,  Harold  and 
Dorothea. 

Mr.  Partlow  is  a  member  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church  and  also  of  the  Masonic  fra- 
ternity. He  is  a  stalwart  and  unflagging  cham- 
pion of  temperance  principles  and  belongs  to  the 
Independent  Order  of  Good  Templars.  His 
position  on  this  question  is  never  an  equivocal 
one  for  he  stands  strong  in  support  of  the  tem- 
perance movement  and  is  opposed  to  the  liquor 
traffic.  All  who  know  him  respect  him  for 
his  fidelity  to  his  honest  convictions  and  he  is 
to-day  one  of  the  prominent  and  distinguished 
residents  of  Clinton  county,  whose  public  record 
has  been  of  value  to  the  county  which  has 
honored  him  by  high  political  preferment. 


HOMER  BRAZEE. 


It  is  a  noticeable  fact  that  the  successful  men 
of  the  day  are  those  to  whom  satiety  ever  lies 
in  the  future  and  to  whom  ambition  continu- 
ally points  out  the  way  for  further  accomplish- 
ment. A  representative  of  this  class  of  men  is 
found  in  Homer  Brazee,  one  of  the  successful 
merchants  of  Dewitt,  who  for  thirteen  years  has 
conducted  a  general  store  in  this  village.  He 
is  a  native  of  Barry  county,  Michigan,  born 
June  27,  1866,  and  is  a  son  of  Henry  Brazee, 
who  was  born  in  New  York,  while  his  father, 
John  Brazee,  was  a  native  of  France.  The 
great-grandfather,  John  Brazee,  Sr.,  was  like- 
wise born  in  France  and  became  a  sailor, 
eventually  serving  in  the  United  States  navy  in 


the  war  of  the  Revolution.  Subsequently  he 
settled  in  New  York,  becoming  a  loyal  citizen 
of  the  new  republic. 

John  Brazee,  Jr.,  was  one  of  the  first  settlers 
of  Lenawee  county,  Michigan,  where  Henry 
Brazee  was  born  and  reared.  After  reaching 
adult  age  he  married  Maria  McConnell,  who 
is  likewise  a  native  of  Lenawee  county  and  the 
young  couple  began  their  domestic  life  upon 
a  farm,  which  he  owned  and  operated  in  Adams 
township.  There  he  reared  his  family  and 
spent  his  life,  passing  away  in  August,  1899. 
His  widow  still  survives  and  now  lives  with  a 
daughter  at  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan.  Homer 
Brazee  is  one  of  a  family  of  two  sons  and  five 
daughters.  His  brother  Mark  is  a  farmer  of 
Wayne  county,  while  his  sister  Ida  is  the  wife 
of  Albert  Marsh,  of  Adrian,  Michigan,  and 
Emma  is  the  wife  of  Alonzo  Jones;  of  Wash- 
ington, D.  C.  Bertha,  Ella  and  Maude  reside 
with  their  mother  in  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan. 

Upon  his  father's  farm  in  Lenawee  county 
Homer  Brazee  spent  the  days  of  his  boyhood 
and  youth,  early  becoming  familiar  with  all 
the  duties  and  labors  that  fall  to  the  lot  of  the 
agriculturist.  He  acquired  his  education  at 
Adrian  high  school  and  when  a  young  man 
entered  a  flouring  mill,  in  which  he  learned  the 
trade.  He  was  subsequently  employed  in  the 
Adrian  mills  for  ten  years,  on  the  expiration  of 
which  period  he  came  to  Dewitt,  where  for  six 
years  he  was  in  charge  of  the  rolling  mills. 
Forming  a  partnership  with  Willis  McLouth, 
he  next  opened  a  grocery  store  and  they  have 
since  built  up  a  good  business,  extending  the 
field  of  their  operations  by  adding  a  stock 
of  general  merchandise.  They  have  now  se- 
cured a  liberal  patronage  and  have  gained  a 
most  commendable  reputation  for  fair  dealing 
as  well  as  for  the  excellent  line  which  they 
carry.  Mr.  Brazee  is  active  manager  of  the 
store  and  its  success  is  attributable  in  large 
measure  to  his  enterprise,  keen  discernment  and 
watchfulness  of  opportunities. 

On  the  1st  of  June,  1893,  in  Adrian  Mr. 
Brazee  was  married  to  Miss  Carrie  Brush,  a 
native  of  Lenawee  county,,  who  was  reared  and 
educated  in  Adrian.  He  belongs  to  the  Masonic 
fraternity,  having  attained  the  Master  Mason's 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


degree  in  blue  lodge  at  Dewitt,  while  he  and 
his  wife  are  affiliated  with  the  Eastern  Star 
here.  His  entire  life  has  been  passed  in  Michi- 
gan and  for  fifteen  years  he  has  lived  in  Clin- 
ton county.  He  is  wrell  known  in  St.  Johns 
and  Lansing  and  throughout  this  part  of  Clinton 
county  and  is  a  representative  business  man, 
alert,  energetic  and  determined  in  all  that  he 
does. 


GEORGE  W.  EMMONS. 

George  W.  Emmons,  who  bears  the  distinc- 
tion of  having  been  the  first  settler  within  what 
is  now  the  corporate  limits  of  St.  Johns  and 
who  is  a  self-made  man,  obtaining  a  comfort- 
able competence  through  honorable  methods  and 
unflagging  diligence,  was  born  in  Seneca  county, 
New  York,  September  12,  1823.  His  parents 
were  Phelanous  and  Susan  Emmons,  the  for- 
mer a  native  of  Pennsylvania  and  the  latter 
of  New  York.  Little  is  known  concerning  the 
ancestral  history  of  the  family.  The  father  died 
in  the  Empire  state  at  the  age  of  fifty  years, 
after  which  the  mother  came  to  Michigan,  and 
for  twenty  years  prior  to  her  death  resided  in 
Bingham  township,  at  the  home  of  her  son 
George  W.,  departing  this  life  April  9,  1890, 
at  the  very  advanced  age  of  ninety-five  years. 

The  early  youth  of  George  W.  Emmons  was 
a  period  of  earnest  and  unremitting  toil.  When 
thirteen  years  of  age  he  was  bound  out  to 
George  Rogers,  of  Oakland  county,  with  whom 
he  remained  until  at  the  age  of  twenty-one 
years.  He  worked  for  him  constantly  during 
all  of  that  time  and  when  he  had  obtained  his 
majority  Mr.  Rogers  gave  Mr.  Emmons  eighty 
acres  of  land  where  St.  Johns  now  stands.  He 
at  once  began  clearing  and  improving  this  tract, 
from  which  he  cut  cord  wood  and  from  its  sale 
and  through  other  means  he  managed  to  save 
about  fifty  dollars  per  year  until  he  had  earned 
enough  to  purchase  forty  acres  more.  Again  he 
began  saving  and  when  he  had  accumulated  a 
sufficient  amount  he  once  more  added  a  forty- 
acre  tract  to  his  land  so  that  his  farm  was  one 


hundred  and  sixty  acres  in  extent.  It  was  en- 
tirely covered  with  timber  when  it  came  into 
his  possession  but  it  is  now  one  of  the  most 
highly  cultivated  tracts  of  land  in  Clinton 
county.  Over  one-half  of  this  is  within  the  city 
limits  of  St.  Johns  and  has  been  sold  off  in  acre 
lots.  The  remainder  is  under  a  very  high  state 
of  cultivation.  Every  acre  but  twenty  was 
cleared  of  the  timber  and  transformed  into  a 
cultivable  tract  from  which  annually  rich  har- 
vests were  gathered  in  reward  for  the  care  and 
labor  which  Mr.  Emmons  bestowed  upon  his 
fields.  He  has  been  a  careful  and  painstaking 
man,  avoiding  debt,  following  honorable  prin- 
ciples, and  his  accumulations  have  grown  under 
careful  management  and  the  husbanding  of  his 
resources.  Fortune  in  the  way  of  good  crops 
has  favored  this  pioneer  from  the  start  and  his 
realty  and  personal  possessions  are  represented 
now  by  a  considerable  figure.  He  was  one  of 
the  founders  and  is  still  a  stockholder  and  di- 
rector of  the  St.  Johns  State  Bank. 

When  he  came  to  St.  Johns  more  than  a  half 
century  ago  there  were  no  roads  cut  through 
the  site  of  the  present  city  and  in  fact  there  were 
but  two  roads  in  the  county.  Within  forty 
feet,  in  sight  of  his  present  palatial  home,  built 
about  twenty  years  ago,  he  cut  trees  and  built 
his  first  log  shanty.  The  next  morning  after 
he  had  felled  a  cluster  of  trees,  intending  to  con- 
struct his  cabin  home  upon  the  site,  he  found 
that  the  ground  was  covered  with  the  tracks  of 
deer,  which  were  still  quite  numerous  in  the 
forests,  while  other  kinds  of  game  and  also 
many  wild  animals  were  often  killed  in  the 
neighborhood.  The  work  of  progress  and  im- 
provement had  scarcely  been  begun  and  all 
around  stood  the  green  forests,  inviting  the 
labor  of  the  lumberman  and  the  agriculturist. 
As  Mr.  Emmons'  early  years  were  spent  in 
arduous  toil  he  had  little  chance  of  acquiring  an 
education.  More  than  once  he  walked  to  Oak- 
land county,  a  distance  of  eighty  miles,  and 
back  in  early  days.  He  was  an  expert  hunter 
in  his  manhood  and  he  often  supplied  his  table 
with  meat  as  a  result  of  the  chase.  In  later 
years  he  has  indulged  in  his  favorite  sport  in 
the  wilds  of  northern  Michigan. 


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GEORGE  W.  EMMONS. 


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Mr.  Emmons  is  an  unusually  well  preserved 
man,  still  active  and  energetic.  He  has  never 
found  need  for  eye  glasses  and  in  his  beautiful 
home  in  St.  Johns  he  is  enjoying  the  fruits  of 
his  labor.  He  bears  the  distinction  of  being  the 
first  settler  within  the  corporation  limits^  of  the 
county  seat  and  is  one  of  the  three  oldest 
pioneers  of  Clinton  county,  his  colleagues  being 
John  H.  Corbitt  and  George  Estes.  His  mind 
bears  the  impress  of  many  events  which  have 
shaped  the  history  of  the  county  and  he  is  re- 
garded as  authority  upon  the  early  annals  of 
this  section  of  the  state.  Politically  he  has 
always  been  a  democrat  and  in  the  early  days 
of  his  residence  here  he  served  as  a  member  of 
the  village  board  of  St.  Johns  for  seven  years 
and  was  assessor  for  one  year. 

In  November,  1851,  Mr.  Emmons  was  united 
in  marriage  to  Miss  Mary  Jane  Norton,  a 
daughter  of  Bishop  Norton,  of  Dewitt  town- 
ship. She  died  after  twelve  years,  leaving  two 
children :  Ella,  who  died  at  the  age  of  thirteen 
years;  and  an  infant.  For  his  second  wife  Mr. 
Emmons  chose  Mrs.  Cornelia  Pate,  of  Wayne, 
Michigan,  who  died  six  years  later.  In  1861 
he  wedded  Mary  Jane  Chase,  of  Detroit,  and 
unto  them  were  born  three  sons  and  two  daugh- 
ters :  Mrs.  Mary  E.  Wegner,  now  of  Canada ; 
Walter,  who  is  living  in  Lansing,  Michigan; 
Frederick  C,  of  St.  Johns;  Mrs.  Grace  C.  Hen- 
derson, of  Pontiac;  and  Clarence  H.,  also  of 
St.  Johns. 

Many  decades  have  passed  since  Mr.  Emmons 
came  from  the  east  to  cast  in  his  lot  with  the 
pioneer  settlers  of  Clinton  county.  People  of 
the  present  age  can  scarcely  realize  the  strug- 
gles and  dangers  which  attended  the  early  set- 
tlers, the  heroism  and  self-sacrifice  of  lives 
passed  upon  the  borders  of  civilization,  the 
hardships  endured,  the  difficulties  overcome. 
These  tales  of  the  early  days  will  be  almost  like 
a  romance  to  those  who  have  known  only  the 
modern  prosperity  and  convenience.  To  the 
pioneer  of  early  times,  far  removed  from  the 
privileges  and  conveniences  of  city  or  town,  the 
struggle  for  existence  was  a  stern  and  hard 
one,  and  these  men  and  women  must  have  pos- 
sessed indomitable  energy  and  sterling  worth 


of  character  as  well  as  marked  physical  courage 
when  they  thus  voluntarily  selected  such  a  life 
and  successfully  fought  its  battles  under  the 
conditions  that  then  prevailed  in  Michigan  and 
other  states  of  the  Northwest  Territory. 


EDWARD  L.  WALBRIDGE. 

Edward  L,  Walbridge,  one  of  the  prominent 
representatives  of  the  Clinton  county  bar,  is  a 
native  of  St.  Johns,  his  birth  having  occurred 
in  this  city,  November  1,  1856.  His  father, 
the  late  Captain  Henry  Walbridge,  was  a  na- 
tive of  Vermont  and  his  mother,  whose  maiden 
name  was  Zilpah  Allen,  was  a  descendant  of 
the  renowned  Colonel  Ethan  Allen,  who*  with 
his  "Green  Mountain  boys"  won  distinction 
in  the  Revolutionary  war.  Edward  Walbridge 
spent  his  early  life  in  the  city  of  his  nativity, 
entering  the  public  schools  at  the  usual  age 
and  passing  through  successive  grades  until  he 
had  completed  the  high-school  course.  He  then 
studied  in  the  University  of  Michigan  and 
afterward  prepared  for  the  practice  of  law  by 
reading  in  his  father's  office.  He  was  admit- 
ted to  the  bar  February  17,  1879,  before  Judge 
Louis  S.  Lovell,  of  St.  Johns.  Previous  to  this 
time,  however,  he  had  served  as  deputy  post- 
master of  the  city  for  a  year.  Following  his 
admission  to  the  bar  he  entered  immediately 
upon  the  practice  of  law  and  in  the  succeeding 
fall  he  was  elected  circuit  court  commissioner 
of  Clinton  county,  holding  the  office  from  1880 
until  1882.  In  1883  he  removed  to  Ithaca, 
Michigan,  where  for  five  years  he  served  as 
village  attorney.  He  was  then  elected  circuit 
court  commissioner  of  Gratiot  county  for  a 
term  of  two  years  and  for  a  brief  period  he 
held  office  outside  of  the  strict  path  of  his  pro- 
fession, being  president  of  the  Ithaca  school 
board. 

Soon  after  he  located  in  Ithaca  the  con- 
struction of  the  Toledo,  Ann  Arbor  &  North- 
ern Michigan  Railroad  was  begun  through  the 
county  and  Mr.  Walbridge  was  retained  in 
over  twenty  injunction  suits  bought  to  the 


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circuit  court  against  the  proprietors  of  the 
road — cases  which  attracted  widespread  atten- 
tion. The  company  having  violated  injunc- 
tions against  laying  its  tracks,  Mr.  Walbridge 
and  his  clients  tore  up  the  tracks  and  burned 
the  ties  and  as  a  result  both  the  attorney  and 
his  clients  were  arrested  at  the  instance  of  the 
company.  However,  he  was  absolutely  certain 
of  his  ground  before  he  acted  and  this  was  soon 
admitted  by  the  abandonment  of  criminal  pro- 
ceedings by  the  railroad  corporation.  The 
contest  for  the  company's  right  of  way  con- 
tinued and  after  being  thrice  beaten  by  Mr. 
Walbridge  in  its  litigated  interests  in  the  courts 
the  company  settled  with  his  clients  in  full, 
paying  all  costs  and  attorney  fees,  and  further 
recognized  Mr.  Walbridge's  ability  by  appoint- 
ing him  local  counsel  for  the  road.  He  held 
that  position  for  two  years  and  tried  various 
important  cases  for  the  company. 

In  1886  Mr.  Walbridge,  at  Detroit,  was  ad- 
mitted to  practice  in  the  United  States  circuit 
and  district  courts  before  Judge  Henry 
Brown,  associate  justice  of  the  United  States 
supreme  court.  Four  years  later  he  formed  a 
partnership  with  James  Clarke,  then  prosecut- 
ing attorney  and  served  as  his  assistant  until 
the  partnership  was  dissolved  in  1892.  In  May 
of  that  year  he  removed  to  Grand  Rapids, 
where  he  entered  into  partnership  relations 
with  his  brother,  H.  E.  Walbridge,  with  whom 
he  continued  for  a  year,  and  who,  on  the  expi- 
ration of  that  period,  returned  to  St.  Johns. 
He  enjoyed  an  extensive  practice  in  Grand 
Rapids  for  six  years,  his  successful  work  as  as- 
sistant prosecuting  attorney  of  Kent  county 
bringing  him  considerable  reputation  and  the 
Kent  County  Humane  Society  passed  a  resolu- 
tion in  commendation  of  his  work.  In  1893 
he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  State  Bar  As- 
sociation, with  which  he  is  still  connected. 

It  was  in  that  year  that  Mr.  Walbridge  en- 
tered into  partnership  with  J.  T.  McAlister, 
which  relation  was  terminated  by  the  appoint- 
ment of  the  former  on  the  1st  of  March,  1894, 
to  the  office  of  assistant  prosecuting  attorney 
by  Alfred  Wolcott,  then  prosecuting  attorney 
of  Kent  county,  which  position  he  held  until 


June  1,  1896,  when  he  resigned.  That  appoint- 
ment came  to  him  unsolicited  and  wras  a  pub- 
lic recognition  of  his  ability  in  the  line  of  his 
chosen  profession.  He  has  practiced  largely 
in  the  circuit  and  supreme  courts  and  has  made 
a  splendid  reputation  as  a  trial  lawyer.  In 
the  preparation  of  cases  he  is  most  thorough 
and  exhaustive  and  seems  almost  intuitively  ta 
grasp  the  strong  points  of  law  and  fact.  No 
detail  seems  to  escape  him  and  every  point  is 
given  its  due  prominence  in  the  case,  which 
is  argued  with  such  skill,  ability  and  power 
that  he  rarely  fails  to  gain  the  verdict  desired. 
He  is  a  popular  and  magnetic  speaker  and  is 
often  called  upon  to  deliver  memorial  and  other 
public  addresses. 

The  position  accorded  Mr.  Walbridge  by  his 
professional  colleagues  was  indicated  by  the 
resolutions  of  respect  read  in  open  court  upon 
his  removal  from  Ithaca  and  signed  by  all  of 
the  attorneys  of  the  twenty-ninth  judicial  dis- 
trict, the  presiding  judge  and  the  various 
county  officers,  while  a  copy  of  these  resolu- 
tions were  filed  with  the  clerk  of  the  court  and 
an  engrossed  copy  was  presented  to  Mr.  Wal- 
bridge. On  the  26th  of  September,  1896,  he 
formed  a  partnership  with  William  P.  Belden 
which  continued  for  a  brief  period.  In  1898, 
however,  he  removed  to  Newport  News,  Vir- 
ginia, where  he  practiced  with  conspicuous  suc- 
cess until  1902,  when  he  returned  to  his  old 
home  and  until  May  1,  1905,  was  in  partner- 
ship with  his  brother  under  the  firm  style  of 
H.  E.  &  E.  L.  Walbridge,  but  he  is  now  prac- 
ticing alone.  At  Newport  News  he  was  ten- 
dered a  farewell  banquet  by  the  Huntington 
Republican  Club,  the  largest  political  organiza- 
tion in  the  south,  upon  his  removal  from  that 
city.  On  the  1st  of  May,  1905,  he  was  ap- 
pointed city  attorney  by  Mayor  J.  W.  Fitzger- 
ald and  unanimously  confirmed  by  the  council. 
Mr.  Walbridge  has  always  been  a  stalwart  re- 
publican— a  recognized  leader  in  the  ranks  of 
his  party  in  Michigan — and  in  1904  he  was  the 
president  of  the  Theodore  Roosevelt  Club  of 
St.  Johns  and  Clinton  county.  He  was  selected 
by  the  Huntington  Club,  of  Newport  News, 
Virginia,  to  deliver  the  memorial  address  on 


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President  McKinley  and  to  draft  the  resolu- 
tions commemorative  of  his  life.  During  the 
presidential  campaign  of  1904  he  put  in  thirty 
continuous  days  speaking  in  Michigan  under  a 
contract  with  the  republican  state  committee, 
who  highly  recommended  his  work. 

On  the  nth  of  February,  1880,  Mr.  Wal- 
bridge  was  married  to  Miss  Mary  Topping,  a 
daughter  of  Dr.  G.  W.  Topping,  of  Dewitt, 
one  of  the  prominent  physicians  of  the  state. 
They  now  have  a  daughter,  Zoe  Alberta.  Both 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Walbridge  hold  membership  in 
the  Congregational  church  and  his  fraternal 
relations  connect  him  with  the  Knights  of 
Pythias.  He  is  one  of  the  most  scholarly  and 
eloquent  members  of  the  Clinton  county  bar 
with  extensive  experience  in  all  branches  of  the 
law,  while  his  connection  with  private  prac- 
tice and  municipal  service  have  made  him  at 
home  in  every  phase  of  the  profession.  He 
stands  to-day  as  one  of  the  most  prominent 
lawyers  in  central  Michigan  and  in  private  as 
well  as  public  life  is  honored  and  respected  by 
all  who  know  him. 


E.  W.  GAY. 


E.  W.  Gay  is  too  well  known  in  Elsie  to 
need  any  introduction  to  the  readers  of  this 
volume.  He  is  a  practical  mechanic,  who  has 
engaged  in  wagon-making  and  repair  work  for 
about  forty  years.  He  is  numbered  among 
the  old  settlers  of  the  state,  having  resided 
within  its  borders  since  1853,  while  his  resi- 
dence in  Clinton  county  dates  from  1862.  A 
native  of  Pennsylvania,  his  birth  occurred  in 
Mercer  county,  on  the  8th  of  October,  1830. 
His  father,  William  Gay,  was  a  native  of  Mas- 
sachusetts but  in  early  manhood  went  to  Penn- 
sylvania and  was  married  there  to  Edna  Gay. 
A  mechanic  and  wheelwright,  he  was  employed 
at  his  trade  in  various  parts  of  the  Keystone 
state  and  in  Canada,  while  his  last  years  were 
spent  in  Ohio.  In  his  family  were  thirteen 
children,  of  whom  E.  W.  and  James  are  resi- 
dents of  Clinton  county,  while  Sylvester  is  in 


the  state  of  Washington.  He  is  the  eldest  of 
the  family  and  is  a  great  traveler,  having  visited 
many  parts  of  this  country.  He  was  also  a 
soldier  of  the  Civil  war. 

E.  W.  Gay  spent  the  days  of  his  childhood 
and  youth  in  Summit  county,  Ohio,  where  he 
learned  the  wheelwright's  trade.  He  was  also 
bound  out  for  four  years,  during  which  time 
he  worked  at  wagon-making  and  repairing  and 
thus  gained  a  knowledge  of  the  pursuits  that 
he  has  made  a  life  work. 

In  185 1,  in  Trumbull  county,  Ohio,  Mr.  Gay 
was  married  to  Miss  Caroline  Tiffany,  a  native 
of  the  Buckeye  state,  and  a  daughter  of  Squire 
Tiffany,  who  was  a  Revolutionary  soldier  and 
lived  to  the  extreme  old  age  of  one  hundred 
years,  his  death  occurring  in  Batavia,  New 
York.  Mr.  Gay  removed  to  Michigan  in  1853, 
settling  first  in  Augusta,  Kalamazoo  county, 
where  he  opened  a  wagon  shop,  working  at  his 
trade  there  for  eleven  years.  In  1863  he  came 
to  Elsie,  being  one  of  the  first  to  locate  in  this 
town  which  was  then  situated  in  the  midst  of 
the  forest  and  was  little  more  than  a  hamlet. 
He  started  a  shop  here  and  began  business,  in 
which  he  continued  for  thirty-five  years.  He 
built  farm  and  express  wagons  and  did  repair 
work  in  this  line.  Within  three  years  he  manu- 
factured one  hundred  and  thirty  wagons,  em- 
ploying several  men.  He  afterward  sold  his 
place  of  business  to  the  Odd  Fellows,  who 
erected  their  hall  here  for  he  was  the  owner 
of  one  of  the  best  business  sites  in  the  town  of 
Elsie.  He  later  started  a  shop  on  his  residence 
lot  and  did  some  repair  work  here.  He  is  in- 
deed one  of  the  worthy  representatives  of  in- 
dustrial interests  in  Elsie  and  in  his  life  ex- 
emplifies the  term  "dignity  of  labor."  His 
energy  and  perseverance  have  been  strong  ele- 
ments in  his  character  and  have  enabled  him  to 
overcome  difficulties  and  obstacles  so  that  he 
has  worked  his  way  gradually  upward  to  suc- 
cess. 

In  the  fall  of  1902  Mr.  Gay  was  called  upon 
to  mourn  the  loss  of  his  wife.  He  has  two 
living  children  but  one  daughter,  Edna,  reached 
womanhood,  married  and  passed  away.  Emma 
is   now  the  wife  of  Adelbert   Baker,   who  is 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


engaged  in  the  hotel  business  at  Lakewood.  a 
summer  resort  in  Oconto  county,  Wisconsin. 
They  have  a  daughter,  Nina,  who  is  now  the 
wife  of  Leo  Fitzgerald,  of  Wisconsin,  and  has 
one  son.  Lafayette  B.  Gay,  a  painter  by  trade, 
is  a  fine  workman  and  resides  in  Elsie  with  his 
father.  He  spent  four  years  in  Oregon,  where 
he  took  a  claim  which  he  afterward  sold,  re- 
turning to  this  county  in  order  to  make  his 
home  with  Mr.  Gay. 

When  the  republican  party  placed  its  first 
candidate  in  the  field  E.  W.  Gay  announced 
himself  as  a  champion  of  the  new  organization 
and  cast  his  ballot  for  John  C.  Fremont.  He 
has  never  failed  to  vote  for  each  of  its  presi- 
dential candidates  since  that  time  and  has 
greatly  desired  the  success  and  growth  of  the 
party  but  has  never  sought  office  for  himself 
nor  would  he  ever  consent  to  become  a  candidate 
for  political  preferment.  He  is  a  member  of 
the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  in 
which  he  has  filled  all  of  the  chairs  and  is  now 
a  past  grand.  In  the  encampment  he  has  like- 
wise been  honored  with  various  offices  and  is 
now  high  priest.  He  has  also  represented  the 
lodge  in  the  grand  lodge  of  the  state  and  he 
attends  the  Baptist  church.  Fifty-two  years 
have  come  and  gone  since  he  located  in  Michi- 
gan and  during  forty-three  years  he  has  lived 
in  Elsie,  taking  an  active  part  in  the  upbuilding 
of  the  town  and  supporting  each  progressive 
measure  for  its  improvement.  Indeed  he  is  re- 
garded as  one  of  the  useful  men  of  the  county 
and  one  whose  integrity  and  worth  of  character 
entitle  him  to  the  unqualified  friendship  which 
is  so  uniformly  accorded  him  by  those  with 
whom  he  is  associated. 


ALMOND  G.  SHEPARD. 

Almond  G.  Shepard  was  born  November  18, 
1873,  in  Shepardsville,  Clinton  county,  Michi- 
gan, which  town  was  named  in  honor  of  his 
father,  William  H.  Shepard.  The  paternal  an- 
cestors came  originally  from  Holland  and  later 
from  Pennsylvania.     William  H.  Shepard  re- 


moved from  the  east  to  Michigan,  becoming 
an  early  resident  of  Clinton  county,  and  he  was 
prominently  connected  with  public  life  in  many 
ways,  being  one  of  the  first  county  judges,  also 
a  pioneer  merchant  and  miller.  A  man  of 
generous  impulses  and  benevolent  spirit,  he  gave 
liberally  to  the  poor  and  did  much  for  the  early 
settlers  of  his  community.  He  was  married 
three  times,  and  by  his  union  with  Miss  So- 
phronia  Crow  had  eight  children.  For  his  third 
wife  he  chose  Mrs.  Catherine  Pooley,  her 
maiden  name  being  Knucke.  She  was  born  in 
England  and  came  of  a  family  prominent  in 
that  country.  She  first  married  Samuel  Pooley, 
by  whom  she  had  five  children.  One  daughter, 
Cora,  is  now  the  wife  of  George  Parmenter,  a 
resident  of  Shepardsville.  Unto  William  H. 
and  Catherine  Shepard  were  born  two  children : 
Albert  H.,  now  living  in  Phoenix,  British  Co- 
lumbia ;  and  Almond  G.  The  father  died  when 
the  younger  son  was  but  nine  years  of  age, 
passing  away  in  1882,  at  the  age  of  sixty-six 
years.  His  widow  still  survives  and  makes  her 
home  in  Ovid. 

Almond  G.  Shepard  acquired  his  education 
in  the  common  schools  of  the  home  district  and 
afterward  attended  the  high  school  at  Ovid,  to 
which  place  he  had  to  walk  three  miles  from  the 
farm.  He  was  likewise  a  student  in  Baker's 
Business  College  in  1892-3  and  afterward  went 
to  Chicago,  where  he  remained  for  six  months. 
He  entered  upon  the  study  of  law  in  the 
University  of  Michigan  in  the  fall  of  1893  and 
was  graduated  in  June,  1895.  In  September  of 
the  same  year  he  came  to  Ovid  and  opened  a  law 
office,  in  which  he  has  since  remained  in  prac- 
tice. He  has  been  very  successful  in  winning 
cases  before  the  supreme  court  and  has  a  liberal 
clientage  of  a  distinctively  representative  char- 
acter. His  ability  being  quickly  recognized,  he 
has  been  connected  with  much  of  the  impor- 
tant litigation  tried  in  the  courts  of  his  district 
in  recent  years.  He  gives  his  political  allegiance 
to  the  democratic  party  but  has  served  as  village 
attorney  through  both  democratic  and  repub- 
lican appointments. 

On  the  9th  of  July,  1895,  occurred  the  mar- 
riage of  Almond  G.  Shepard  and  Miss  Jessie 


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WILLIAM    H.    SHEPARD. 


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Harrison  a  daughter  of  John  and  Catherine 
(Martin)  Harrison,  of  St.  Johns.  They  have 
two  children,  Elliott  F.  and  Althea  H  Mr. 
Shepard  has  always  been  a  resident  of  Clinton 
county  and  has  been  self-supporting  since  his 
boyhood  days.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  years, 
without  aid  from  any  one,  he  conducted  a  farm 
of  one  hundred  and  thirty  acres  and  made  a 
splendid  success  of  this  work,  thereby  securing 
the  funds  necessary  to  complete  his  education. 
He  is  a  typical  representative  of  the  young 
man  of  the  age,  alert,  enterprising  and  deter- 
mined, belonging  to  that  class  who  are  fast 
becoming  leaders  in  the  world's  activities.  Mr. 
Shepard  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  strong  and 
forceful  characters  of  the  Clinton  county  bar 
and  is  accorded  a  patronage  which  is  winning 
him  gratifying  success. 


HENRY  RUMMELL. 

Farming  and  blacksmithing  formerly  claimed 
the  attention  of  Henry  Rummell  but  now  he  is 
living  retired  in  Elsie,  having  put  aside  the 
more  active  duties  of  business  life.  He  has 
lived  in  Clinton  county  since  1865,  and  for 
eighty  years  he  has  traveled  life's  journey,  his 
memory  covering  the  period  of  greatest  pro- 
gress and  improvement  in  the  history  of  this 
country.  He  is  a  native  of  Ohio,  having  been 
born  in  Tuscarawas  county  on  the  18th  of 
July,  1825.  His  father,  George  Rummell,  was 
a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  and  when  a  young 
man  went  to  Ohio,  settling  in  Tuscarawas 
county.  He  was  married  there  to  Miss  Cather- 
ine Stifler,  who  was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania 
but  was  reared  in  the  Buckeye  state.  In  his 
early  manhood  he  learned  the  trade  of  a  carpen- 
ter and  joiner  and  to  that  pursuit  devoted  his 
energies  but  his  death  occurred  when  his  son 
Henry  was  a  young  lad  of  five  years.  His  wife 
long  survived  him  and  reared  her  children. 

Henry  Rummell  spent  his  youth  in  the 
county  of  his  nativity  and  learned  the  black- 
smith's trade  there,  after  which  he  followed  that 
pursuit  for  several  years  in  Ohio.     He  carried 


on  a  shop  in  New  Philadelphia  for  a  few  years 
and  afterward  removed  to  Delaware  county, 
conducting  a  smithy  there  for  four  years,  meet- 
ing with  a  fair  measure  of  success.     On  the 
expiration  of  that  period,  however,  he  sold  out 
and  in  1865  came  to  Michigan,  locating  on  a 
farm,  which  he  purchased  in  the  midst  of  the 
forest.    It  was  covered  with  a  dense  growth  of 
timber   which   meant   that   much  arduous   toil 
would  be  required  ere  the  land  was  prepared 
for  cultivation.    He  cut  away  the  trees,  cleared 
away  the  brush,  grubbed  out  the  stumps  and 
continued  the  work  of  improvement  until  the 
fields  were  ready  for  the  plow  and  the  seed  was 
planted.     For  several  years  he  lived  upon  that 
place  and  is  still  its  owner.     He  likewise  owns 
a  well  improved  farm  of  eighty  acres  about  two 
miles  west  of  Elsie.    He  had  a  shop  on  his  farm 
and  in  connection  with  general  agricultural  pur- 
suits also  engaged  in  blacksmithing  for  a  num- 
ber of  years,  but  eventually  he  put  aside  busi- 
ness cares  and  in  September,  1904,  took  up  his 
abode  in  Elsie,  where  he  is  now  living  retired. 
While  still  living  in  Ohio  Mr.  Rummell  was 
married  in  New  Philadelphia,  in  1849,  to  Miss 
Sarah  Jane  Singhaws,  whose  birth  occurred  in 
Harrison  county,   Ohio.     They  traveled  life's 
journey  together  for  fifty-three  years,  sharing 
with  each  other  its  joys  and  sorrows,  the  ad- 
versity and  prosperity  which  checker  the  careers 
of  all  but  on  the  30th  of  March,   1902,  they 
were  separated  by  the  death  of  the  wife.   Three 
children  had  been  born  unto  them :  E.  F.  Rum- 
mell, who  is  now  living  on  the  home  farm;  C. 
M.,  a  farmer  whose  home  is  in  Elsie;  and  Ella 
May,  the  wife  of  J.  Mead,  of  Elsie.    Mr.  Rum- 
mell was  again  married  in  Ovid  on  the  29th 
of   August,    1904,    to   Anna   E.    Hill,    a   na- 
tive of  Canada  and  a  daughter  of  Rev.  John 
Hill,    a   minister  of  the   Methodist   Episcopal 
church  in  Canada.     She  was  reared  and  edu- 
cated in  her  native  county  and  resided  there 
until  1883,  after  which  she  came  to  Michigan 
with  her  mother  and  family,  locating  in  Che- 
boygan, where  she  lived  for  four  years. 

Politically  Mr.  Rummell  is  an  advocate  of 
republican  principles,  believing  firmly  in  the 
policy  of  the  party  and  its  platform.     He  and 


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his  wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episco- 
pal church,  and  Mrs.  Rummell  takes  a  most 
active  part  in  its  work.  She  was  born  in  the 
parsonage  arid  was  reared  by  parents  who  were 
devotedly  attached  to  that  denomination.  Mr. 
Rummell  has  a  very  wide  and  favorable  ac- 
quaintance in  the  county  and  now  crowned  with 
years  he  receives  the  veneration  and  respect 
which  should  ever  be  accorded  to  one  who  has 
traveled  far  on  life's  journey  and  has  made  a 
record  that  exemplifies  the  sterling  traits  of 
honorable  manhood. 


GEORGE  R.  SIMMONS. 

George  R.  Simmons  is  living  retired  in  De- 
witt  but  for  years  was  an  active  and  successful 
agriculturist  of  Clinton  county,  owning  a  well 
improved  farm  in  Olive  township.     A  native 
son  of  Michigan,  his  birth  occurred  in  Wash- 
tenaw county,  January  23,  1842.     His  father, 
Atwell  Simmons,  was  born  in  the  state  of  New 
York  in  1805  and  after  arriving  at  years  of  ma- 
turity was  married  there  to  Lovina  Knapp,  a  na- 
tive of  that  state.     In  the  year  1842  they  ar- 
rived   in    Michigan,    settling    in    Washtenaw 
county,  where  Mr.  Simmons  purchased  a  farm, 
living  thereon  for  three  years.     He  then  sold 
and  came  to  Clinton  county  in  1845,  taking  up 
his  abode  in  Riley  township,  where  he  opened 
up  a  farm  in  the  midst  of  the  forest.    He  reared 
his  family  thereon  and  continued  to  carry  on 
general  agricultural  pursuits  until  his  life's  la- 
bors were  ended  in  death  in  1880.     His  wife 
survived  him  for  a  number  of  years,  passing 
away  in  May,  1902.    They  had  one  son  and  one 
daughter,  the  latter  being  Amina,  the  wife  of 
Amari    Cook,   of   Riley   township.      The  son, 
George  R.  Simmons,  reared  in  this  county,  to 
which  he  was  brought  when  but  three  years  of 
age,  had  but  limited  school  privileges  and  his 
knowledge  has  been  largely  self -acquired.     He 
remained  with  his  father  until  twenty-one  years 
of  age  and  was  afterward  married  in  Olive 
township,  on  the  21st  of  December,   1854,  to 
Miss    Elizabeth    Tucker,  a    native    of    Tioga 


county,  New  York,  and  a  daughter  of  Hiram 
and  Lucy  (Smith)  Tucker,  who  were  also  na- 
tives of  the  Empire  state,  the  former  having 
been  born  in  Otsego  county  and  the  latter  in 
Tioga  county.  Mr.  Tucker  removed  westward 
to  Michigan  in  1850  and  his  daughter  was 
therefore  reared  in  this  state.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Simmons  began  their  domestic  life  upon  a  farm 
and  he  owned  and  improved  a  valuable  tract  of 
land  in  Olive  township.  The  soil  was  alluvial 
and  productive  and  as  the  years  passed  returned 
splendid  harvests.  After  successfully  carrying 
on  general  agricultural  pursuits  for  some  time 
Mr.  Simmons  removed  to  the  village  of  Dewitt, 
where  he  now  resides  in  honorable  retirement 
from  further  business  cares. 

Unto  our  subject  and  his  wife  have  been 
born  five  children  but  the  only  one  now  living  is 
Ella,  the  wife  of  M.  F.  Pike,  a  farmer  of  Olive 
township.  Ada  and  Eva,  twins,  died  in  early 
childhood  and  Dora  died  at  the  age  of  six 
years,  while  Hiram  Simmons  reached  adult 
age  and  was  married  here.  He  became  a  promi- 
net  citizen  of  Dewitt  and  served  as  postmaster 
of  the  village  for  a  number  of  years  or  until 
the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  1893. 
He  left  two  daughters,  Ada  and  Eva.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Simmons  of  this  review  are  members  of  the 
Universalist  church  and  Mr.  Simmons  belongs 
to  the  Masonic  lodge,  in  which  he  has  served 
as  master  and  filled  all  the  other  chairs,  while 
both  he  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Order 
of  the  Eastern  Star.  He  is  a  man  of  un- 
Clinton  Port  Gal  12  G 

blemished  character  and  moral  worth,  who  has 
lived  an  honest,  upright  life  and  has  a  favor- 
able acquaintance  in  Clinton  county,  where  the 
circle  of  his  friends  is  very  extensive. 


ABRAM  HARRIS. 


Abram  Harris,  whose  home  is  on  section  10, 
Bath  township,  is  a  native  son  of  Michigan 
and  is  one  of  the  successful  farmers  of  Clinton 
county,  where  he  has  resided  for  a  period  of 
thirty-five  years.  That  his  labors  have  been 
carefully  directed  is  shown  in  his  neat  and  well 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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improved  farm  of  eighty  acres,  on  which  he 
has  lived  since  1870.  He  came  to  this  county 
from  Lenawee  county,  Michigan,  where  he  was 
born  on  the  8th  of  December,  1837.  His  father, 
Captain  Garrett  Harris,  was  born  in  Ulster 
county,  New  York,  in  18 16,  and  was  a  son 
of  Abram  Harris,  one  of  the  early  residents  of 
this  part  of  the  state.  Captain  Harris  was 
reared  to  manhood  in  Ulster  county  and  was 
married  there  to  Magdalena  Auchmoody,  who 
was  likewise  a  native  of  New  York.  He  served 
in  the  state  militia,  both  in  New  York  and 
Michigan,  and  in  1836  he  came  to  the  west, 
settling  in  Lenawee  county,  where  he  developed 
a  farm,  his  original  home  being  one  of  the  old- 
time  log  cabins,  in  which  the  family  endured 
many  hardships  and  trials  incident  to  pioneer 
life  while  they  were  endeavoring  to  subdue  the 
wilderness  and  carve  out  a  good  farm  in  the 
midst  of  the  forest.  Captain  Harris  continued 
the  work  of  clearing  and  improving  his  land 
and  afterward  extended  the  boundaries  of  his 
property  until  he  owned  three  hundred  and 
seventy-two  acres  in  his  home  farm  and  also 
good  land  elsewhere.  He  was  elected  the  first 
supervisor  of  Woodstock,  Lenawee  county,  and 
was  recognized  as  a  man  of  good  education  and 
business  capacity  who  was  able  to  conduct  busi- 
ness affairs  in  a  helpful  manner,  and  his  loyalty 
to  the  general  welfare  was  above  question.  He 
continued  to  reside  upon  the  old  homestead  until 
his  death,  which  occurred  in  May,  1900.  His 
first  wife  died  when  Abram  Harris  was  a  child 
and  he  married  again,  his  second  wife,  how- 
ever, surviving  him  but  seven  days. 

Abram  Harris  was  one  of  two  children 
born  of  their  first  marriage,  his  sister  Mary 
being  the  wife  of  Jacob  Avery,  who  is  living 
in  Jackson  county,  Michigan.  Abram  Harris 
grew  to  manhood  in  Lenawee  county,  remain- 
ing with  his  father  throughout  the  period  of 
his  minority.  He  was  married  in  that  county, 
in  1861,  to  Miss  Mary  C.  Hewitt,  who  was 
born  in  Jackson  county,  Michigan,  and  is  a  lady 
of  superior  education  and  culture,  who  prior  to 
her  marriage  successfully  engaged  in  teaching. 
Subsequent  to  that  time  she  and  her  husband 
resided  in  Lenawee  county,  where  they  remained 


for  some  years,  three  children  being  born  unto 
them  during  their  residence  there.  In  1870  Mr. 
Harris  came  with  his  family  to  Clinton  county, 
settling  on  land  which  he  had  previously  pur- 
chased. He  began  here  with  sixty  acres,  which 
he  cleared  and  improved,  and  later  he  traded 
that  place  for  the  farm  on  which  he  now  resides. 
Here  he  owns  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres. 
He  has  added  to  it  and  remodeled  the  home  and 
now  has  a  substantial  residence.  There  is  also 
a  large  basement  barn  on  the  place  and  he  has 
made  other  neat  and  valuable  improvements, 
which  add  to  the  attractive  appearance  of  the 
farm  and  indicate  the  owmer  to  be  a  man  of 
progressive  spirit  and  substantial  worth  in  his 
agricultural  interests. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Harris  have  been  born 
five  children,  of  whom  four  are  yet  living;. 
Orin,  who  resides  in  Grand  Rapids,  Michigan; 
William,  a  resident  farmer  of  this  county;  Net- 
tie, the  wife  of  Frank  Smith,  who  follows 
farming  in  Victor  township;  Garrett  F.,  who 
is  married  and  assists  in  carrying  on  the  home 
farm.  They  lost  their  first  born,  Leota,  who 
was  the  wife  of  Levi  Canen  and  at  her  death 
left  one  child. 

Politically  Mr.  Harris  is  independent,  sup- 
porting the  men  and  measures  regardless  of 
party,  nor  has  he  cared  for  office.  He  is  a 
member  of  Bath  lodge,  I.  O.  O.  F.,  has  served 
through  all  of  its  chairs  and  is  past  grand, 
while  to  the  grand  lodge  of  the  state  he  has 
been  a  delegate.  Llis  life  has  been  character- 
ized by  untiring  industry  and  unfaltering  pur- 
pose and  exemplifies  the  term  "dignity  of  labor," 
for  through  the  careful  conduct  of  his  business 
interests  he  has  won  success  and  his  honorable 
methods  have  gained  for  him  an  enviable 
reputation. 


GEORGE  W.  PAYNE. 

George  W.  Payne,  who  is  engaged  in  general 
farming  on  section  2,  Lebanon  township,  was 
born  in  the  township  of  Fulton,  Gratiot  county, 
Michigan,  December  5,  1854.  His  father, 
Arnold  Payne,  was  a  native  of  New  York  and 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY, 


when  a  young  man  came  to  Michigan,  settling 
in  Gratiot  county.  He  made  the  journey  west- 
ward with  Arnold  Payne,  Sr.,  who  was  ac- 
companied by  his  eight  sons  and  five  daughters, 
the  family  home  being  established  in  Gratiot 
county.  It  was  in  that  locality  that  Arnold 
Payne,  Jr.,  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss 
Mary  Gladston,  a  native  of  England.  He  was 
killed  in  the  lumber  woods  during  the  early 
youth  of  George  W.  Payne,  and  his  widow 
afterward  carried  on  the  home  farm.  In  the 
family  were  two  sons  and  a  daughter,  of  whom 
Riley  Payne  is  a  farmer  in  Gratiot  county, 
while  Carrie  E.  is  the  widow  of  Fred  Cross. 

George  W.  Payne  spent  his  youth  in  Gratiot 
county  and  acquired  a  common-school  educa- 
tion there.  After  he  had  attained  his  majority 
he  settled  upon  a  farm  of  forty  acres  in  that 
county  which  he  cultivated  for  some  time  and 
then  sold.  Subsequently  he  bought  another 
farm  on  section  2,  Lebanon  township.  This  is 
one  of  the  neatest  places  in  the  locality  and  is 
situated  just  across  the  road  from  the  Allen 
grove.  In  all  of  his  work  Mr.  Payne  has  been 
practical  and  enterprising  and  his  labors  have 
been  attended  with  a  gratifying  measure  of  suc- 
cess. 

In  October,  1878,  in  Gratiot  county,  Mr. 
Payne  wedded  Miss  Clara  Blizzard,  a  native 
of  Clinton  county  and  a  daughter  of  Oliver 
Blizzard,  a  native  of  England,  who  came  to 
this  section  of  the  state  at  an  early  date.  Two 
children  grace  this  marriage:  Roy,  now  agent 
at  Fowler  for  the  Grand  Trunk  Railway  Com- 
pany, who  is  married  and  has  a  son,  Russell 
Payne;  and  Blanche,  the  wife  of  Marvin  O. 
Allen,  a  farmer  of  Lebanon  township. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Payne  is  a  re- 
publican where  questions  of  national  policy  are 
involved  but  at  local  elections  votes  regardless 
of  party  affiliation.  He  served  as  constable  for 
four  consecutive  terms  but  has  never  desired 
office.  He  and  his  wife  are  connected  with  the 
Maccabees  lodge  at  Maple  Rapids.  They  have 
a  pleasant  and  neat  home  surrounded  by  a  well 
kept  lawn  and  the  farm  is  in  excellent  condi- 
tion. Mr.  Payne  has  owned  and  partially  im- 
proved a  number  of  farms  in  Gratiot  county 


and  in  his  work  possesses  that  determined  spirit 
and  unabating  energy  that  enables  him  to  carry 
forward  to  successful  completion  whatever  he 
undertakes. 


BENJAMIN  D.  ACKMOODY. 

Benjamin  D.  Ackmoody  has  a  wide  and 
favorable  acquaintance  in  Elsie,  where  he  is 
well  known  as  an  all-round  business  man  and 
public-spirited  citizen.  Although  his  residence 
in  the  village  covers  but  a  brief  period  he  has 
resided  for  many  years  in  this  part  of  the  state, 
his  home  being  just  across  the  border  line  in 
Gratiot  county  since  1879.  Six  years  previous 
he  became  a  resident  of  Michigan,  taking  up 
his  abode  at  that  time  in  Hillsdale  county.  He 
is  a  native  of  Onondaga  county,  New  York, 
born  on  the  25th  of  December,  1842.  His 
father,  Abraham  Ackmoody,  was  a  native  of 
Ulster  county,  New  York,  born  in  April,  1799, 
and  his  father  was  James  Ackmoody,  likewise  a 
native  of  that  county  and  of  Scotch  descent, 
his  ancestors  having  been  among  the  first  set- 
tlers of  Ulster  county,  New  York.  Abraham 
Ackmoody  was  reared  in  that  locality  and  was 
married  there  to  Miss  Hannah  Atkins,  who  was 
also  born  in  Ulster  county.  He  afterward  set- 
tled in  Onondaga  county,  where  he  followed 
farming  and  reared  his  family.  His  wife  passed 
away  there  and  he  afterward  came  to  Michigan, 
settling  in  Ingham  county,  where  he  spent  his 
last  years. 

B.  D.  Ackmoody  was  reared  to  manhood  in 
the  county  of  his  nativity  and  acquired  a  good 
public-school  education  there.  In  July,  1862, 
responding  to  his  country's  call  for  aid,  he  en- 
listed in  Cayuga  county,  New  York,  joining 
Company  H  of  the  One  Hundred  and  Eleventh 
New  York  Infantry.  With  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac  he  served  under  General  George  B. 
McClellan,  first  taking  part  in  the  battle  of 
Harper's  Ferry,  where  he  was  captured.  Later, 
however,  he  was  paroled  and  sent  to  Chicago, 
remaining  at  Camp  Douglas  for  two  months. 
He  was  then  exchanged  and  returned  to  active 
service  on  the   Potomac  but  became   ill   with 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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measles  and  later  suffered  from  smallpox,  re- 
maining in  the  hospital  for  two  months.  He 
then  returned  home  in  February,  1863,  and 
was  honorably  discharged  because  of  disability. 
It  was  almost  a  year  before  he  had  regained  his 
health  and  was  able  to  become  an  active  factor 
in  business  life.  He  re-enlisted  January  24, 
1864,  in  Battalion  L,  Sixteenth  Heavy  Artil- 
lery, and  served  until  the  close  of  the  war.  He 
learned  the  shoemaker's  trade,  which  he  fol- 
lowed in  connection  with  harnessmaking  until 
his  removal  to  Michigan. 

Before  leaving  his  native  state  Mr.  Ack- 
moody was  married  in  Chenango  county  on  the 
26th  of  January,  1864,  to  Miss  Ellen  Stone, 
who  was  born  in  New  Hampshire  but  was 
reared  in  Madison  county,  New  York.  In  1873 
they  came  to  Michigan,  settling  at  North  Adams, 
Hillsdale  county,  where  Mr.  Ackmoody  estab- 
lished a  shoemaking  and  harnessmaking  shop, 
carrying  on  business  for  six  years.  He  then  sold 
out  and  removed  to  Gratiot  county,  purchas- 
ing an  improved  farm  not  far  from  Alma.  To 
its  further  cultivation  and  development  he  de- 
voted his  energies  for  a  year  and  then  sold  out, 
after  which  he  removed  to  Elwell,  where  he 
bought  an  established  business,  and  for  five  or 
six  years  engaged  in  general  merchandising, 
also  serving  as  postmaster  at  that  place.  When 
he  disposed  of  his  stock  of  goods  there  he  took 
up  his  abode  in  Ashley,  where  he  engaged  in 
farming  for  two  years  and  later  carried  on  a 
harness  shop  for  six  or  seven  years.  Once  more 
he  sold  his  store  and  located  on  a  farm,  wrhich 
he  cultivated  and  improved  for  two  years,  when 
in  December,  1903,  he  established  his  residence 
in  Elsie,  purchasing  a  house  which  he  has  re- 
modeled and  to  which  he  has  added  until  he 
now  has  a  neat  and  attractive  residence  here. 
He  has  charge  of  his  son's  farm,  giving  general 
supervision  to  the  place  and  also  looks  after  his 
son's  business  interests. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ackmoody  have  but  one  child, 
Willis  B.  Ackmoody,  who  is  now  a  traveling 
man  and  is  married  and  resides  in  Grand 
Rapids.     He  has  one  son,  Willis  B.  Ackmoody. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Ackmoody  has 
been  a  lifelong  republican  and  while  living  in 


Hillsdale  county  served  as  justice  of  the  peace, 
while  for  six  years  he  filled  the  same  office  in 
Gratiot  county.  In  1904  he  was  elected  justice 
in  Elsie  and  re-elected  in  1905,  so  that  he  has 
long  filled  that  position,  a  fact  which  is  indi- 
cative of  his  capable  and  efficient  service,  his 
decisions  being  marked  by  strict  fairness  and 
impartiality.  He  was  also  a  member  of  the 
town  board  of  Gratiot.  Both  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Ackmoody  are  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church,  with  which  he  has  been 
identified  for  nearly  forty  years.  He  has  served 
as  a  member  of  the  official  board  of  the  church 
and  in  all  of  the  other  offices  has  taken  a  very 
active  part  in  Sunday-school  work,  serving  for 
years  as  superintendent,  and  for  nearly  twenty 
years  has  been  a  local  preacher  of  the  denomi- 
nation. Since  1867  he  has  affiliated  with  the 
Masonic  fraternity,  has  filled  all  of  the  chairs 
in  the  local  lodge  and  is  now  a  past  master, 
while  he  and  his  wife  are  identified  with  the 
Eastern  Star.  He  is  likewise  a  member  of  the 
Grange  and  represented  Gratiot  county  in  the 
State  Grange.  He  has  a  wide  and  favorable 
acquaintance  in  both  Clinton  and  Gratiot 
counties  and  the  esteem  which  is  ever  given  in 
recognition  of  genuine  personal  worth  is  his. 
He  has  so  lived  as  to  win  the  unqualified  con- 
fidence and  regard  of  those  with  whom  he  has 
been  associated  and  as  the  years  have  gone  by 
the  circle  of  his  friends  has  constantly 
broadened. 


LEWIS  D.  WAGNER. 

Lewis  D.  Wagner,  living  on  section  11, 
Greenbush  township,  is  the  owner  of  a  farm  of 
one  hundred  acres  and  the  rich  land  yields  to 
him  excellent  harvests  annually  because  of  the 
care  and  labor  which  he  bestows  upon  it.  His 
residence  in  Clinton  county  dates  from  1850, 
so  that  he  is  numbered  among  the  early  settlers. 
He  was  born  in  Knox  county,  Ohio,  October 
3,  1849,  an<^  is  a  son  of  John  Wagner,  a  native 
of  Pennsylvania,  who  was  reared  in  Ohio.  His 
father  was  George  Wagner,  a  native  of  Ger- 
many and  the  founder  of  the  family  in  the  new 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


world.      After   living   in    Pennsylvania    for   a 
time  he  removed  to  Ohio,  settling  there  when 
John  Wagner  was  a  young  man.     He  took  up 
his  abode  in  Knox  county  and  John  Wagner 
was  there  married  to  Miss  Polly  Kirby,  a  na- 
tive of  Ohio.     He  then  began  farming  in  the 
Buckeye   state  and   followed  that  pursuit   for 
some   years,    clearing   his    land,    developing   a 
good  property  and  making  a  specialty  of  the 
raising  of  tobacco.     There  with  one  exception 
all  of  his  children  were  born.    In  1850  he  came 
to    Clinton   county,    Michigan,    taking   up   his 
abode  on  the  farm  where  his  son  Lewis  now 
resides,  the  family  home  being  in  the  midst  of 
the  green  woods.    They  lived  in  a  log  cabin  for 
several  years,  having  the  only  double  log  house 
in  this  part  of  the  county.     The  father  cleared 
and  improved  a  good  farm  with  the  aid  of  his 
sons  and  in  due  course  of  time  replaced  the  log 
house  by  a  good  frame  residence.     He  also  pro- 
vided ample  shelter  for  grain,  stock  and  farm 
machinery  by  erecting4  good  barns  and   sheds 
and   in  his   work  he  prospered,   owing  to  his 
capable  management  and  indefatigable  industry. 
He  spent  his  last  years  upon  this  farm,  passing 
away  here  in  the  fall  of  1890,  having  for  some 
years  survived  his  wife.     In  fact  he  had  mar- 
ried again.     There  are  two   survivors   of  the 
family  of  five  children:  Lewis  D.  and  Anna, 
the  latter  being  the  wife  of  Stephen  Gilson,  of 
St.  Johns. 

Lewis  D.  Wagner  was  brought  to  Michigan 
by  his  parents  in  his  infancy  and  was  reared 
upon  the  old  homestead  farm,  where  he  yet  re- 
sides. Het  remained  with  his  father  until  he 
had  attained  his  majority  and  was  married  in 
Greenbush  township  in  1870  to  Miss  Mary 
Catherine  Bird,  a  native  of  the  state  of  New 
York,  who  in  her  girlhood  days  came  to  Clin- 
ton county.  She  is  a  daughter  of  James  Bird 
and  a  sister  of  William  Bird.  The  young  couple 
began  their  domestic  life  in  Eureka  and  Mr. 
Wagner  operated  the  old  home  place  for  fifteen 
years,  renting  it  from  his  father.  Subsequent 
to  the  father's  death  he  purchased  his  sister's 
interest  in  the  property  and  thus  succeeded  to 
the  ownership  of  the  old  home  farm,  which  he 
at  once  began  to  cultivate  and  improve  in  keep- 


ing with  the  most  modern  ideas  concerning  pro- 
gressive agriculture.  He  has  added  to  and  re- 
modeled the  house,  has  also  improved  the  barn 
and  put  up  other  good  outbuildings,  including 
a  carriage  house  and  ice  house.  The  entire 
farm  is  fenced,  considerable  wire  fencing  being 
used  and  there  is  no  equipment  of  a  model  farm 
that  is  lacking.  He  has  for  several  years  rented 
his  land  but  he  gives  his  supervision  to  keeping 
up  the  place. 

While  living  on  the  old  homestead  Mr. 
Wagner  was  called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of 
his  first  wife,  who  died  leaving  two  children: 
Anna,  now  the  wife  of  V.  G.  Carter,  who  fol- 
lows farming  on  the  old  home  property;  and 
Floyd  E.,  who  is  now  holding  a  responsible 
position  as  a  traveling  salesman  for  O.  P. 
Dewitt,  of  St.  Johns.  On  the  24th  of  Decem- 
ber, 1896,  Mr.  Wagner  was  again  married,  his 
second  union  being  with  Esther  Pershing,  a 
native  of  Ohio,  in  which  state  she  was  reared 
and  educated,  her  father  being  George  Persh- 
ing, a  native  of  Pennsylvania. 

Politically  Mr.  Wagner  is  an  earnest  repub- 
lican but  without  aspiration  for  office.  His  wife 
is  a  member  of  the  Evangelical  churchy  His 
residence  in  Clinton  county  covers  a  period  of 
fifty-five  years  and  his  mind  bears  the  impress 
of  its  early  historic  annals  and  forms  a  con- 
necting link  between  the  primitive  past  and  the 
progressive  present.  He  has  helped  to  improve 
and  make  the  county  what  it  is  today,  being 
closely  identified  with  Eureka  and  Greenbush 
township.  He  has  resided  all  these  years  in 
this  section  of  the  county,  where  he  is  very  well 
known,  and  his  many  excellent  traits  of  char- 
acter have  gained  for  him  the  respect  and  con- 
fidence of  those  with  whom  he  has  been  as- 
sociated. 


CHARLES  H.  MANLEY. 

Charles  H.  Manley  was  one  of  the  promoters 
of  a  leading  industrial  enterprise  of  St.  Johns, 
known  as  the  Premiun  Manufacturing  Works, 
and  is  likewise  at  the  head  of  the  Central  Poul- 
try Supply  House.     The  extent  of  his  business 


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CHARLES  H.  MANLEY. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


"5 


is  the  result  of  a  careful  study  of  public  wants 
and  honest  effort  to  please  his  patrons  and  he 
is  now  controlling  interests  which  bring  him 
a  desirable  financial  return.  A  native  of  Eng- 
land, he  was  born  January  12,  187 1,  and  the 
ancestry  of  the  family  can  be  traced  back  to  the 
reign  of  Charles  I.  Representatives  of  the  name 
were  prominent  in  the  East  India  service. 
Charles  Maddock  Manley,  father  of  our  sub- 
ject, was  born  in  Portsmouth,  Hampshire, 
England,  and  wras  connected  with  the  English 
consulate  at  Baltimore,  Maryland,  spending 
much  of  his  life  in  the  government  and  diplo- 
matic service.  He  married  Ellen  Howe,  also 
a  native  of  England,  and  his  death  occurred 
when  he  was  fifty-seven  years  of  age,  while 
his  wife  passed  away  six  months  later,  in  1900, 
also  at  the  age  of  fifty-seven  years. 

Charles  H.  Manley,  their  only  son,  acquired 
his  education  in  the  Chettenham  public  schools 
and  in  King's  College,  from  wihch  he  was 
graduated  in  1897  with  the  degree  of  Bachelor 
of  Arts.  He  afterward  completed  a  course  in 
London  University  with  the  degree  of  Master 
of  Arts  in  the  class  of  1899,  and  became  a  lec- 
turer for  the  International  Protestant  Feder- 
ation, his  territory  covering  the  eastern  and 
southern  portions  of  England.  For  two  years 
he  devoted  his  life  to  that  work,  after  which  he 
returned  to  his  home  and  for  a  period  was  en- 
gaged in  evangelistic  work.  At  the  breaking 
out  of  the  Boer  wTar  he  became  chaplain  of  the 
Royal  Horse  Artillery  and  remained  in  South 
Africa  for  two  years  during  the  period  of 
hostilities  there.  He  then  came  to  America  in 
1903  and  was  engaged  in  evangelistic  work  in 
St.  Johns  for  six  months,  after  which  he  or- 
ganized and  established  the  Premiun  Manu- 
facturing Works.  The  manufactured  product 
includes  horticultural  buildings,  portable  houses, 
poultry  supplies,  conservatories,  green  houses, 
garden  frames,  summer  cottages,  auto  houses, 
hunting  lodges,  incubators,  brooders,  colony 
houses,  fencing,  sundries  and  utilities  of  every 
description.  He  also  deals  in  bee  supplies, 
pigeon  goods,  in  standard  bred  poultry  and  in 
eggs  for  hatching.  The  business  has  increased 
rapidly  from  the  beginning  and  at  its  present 


rapid  rate  of  growth  will  be  one  of  the  largest 
of  the  kind  in  the  country.  He  was  the  first 
to  begin  the  business  of  shipping  live  chicks  by 
express  and  has  established  a  business  in  many 
states,  making  shipments  of  chicks  one  week 
after  hatching.  This  department  has  grown  to 
such  an  extent  that  the  St.  Johns  Hatching 
Company  was  formed  with  a  capital  of  ten 
thousand  dollars,  of  which  Mr.  Manley  is 
president.  He  carries  all  kinds  of  poultry 
foods  and  has  the  largest  stock  of  poultry  ap- 
pliances and  supplies  in  the  middle  west.  The 
business  occupies  a  four-story  building  on  the 
Grand  Trunk  Railroad  and  a  private  track  has 
been  laid  to  this  structure  so  that  Mr.  Manley 
is  enabled  to  make  prompt  and  economical  ship- 
ments. He  has  been  a  frequent  contributor  to 
leading  poultry  journals  of  the  country,  is  re- 
garded as  a  most  practical  poultryman  and  has 
been  a  lecturer  for  the  Utility  Club. 

On  the  1st  of  June,  1904,  Mr.  Manley  was 
married  to  Miss  Matie  Marie  Martin,  a  daugh- 
ter of  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Martin,  of  St.  Johns.  Mr. 
Manley  has  worked  his  way  upward,  attaining 
prominence  in  his  chosen  field  of  labor  through 
merit  and  unfaltering  diligence.  Dominated  by 
the  progressive  and  enterprising  spirit  of  the 
west,  energy  and  industry  have  stood  him  in 
stead  of  capital  and  have  crowned  his  efforts 
with  prosperity. 


CAPTAIN  HENRY  WALBRIDGE. 

Captain  Henry  Walbridge,  whose  life  record 
constitutes  an  honored  chapter  in  the  history  of 
the  bar  of  central  Michigan,  was  born  in  Cabot, 
Washington  county,  Vermont,  August  21, 
1820.  He  died  June  24,  1899,  at  which  time 
he  was  one  of  the  oldest  practitioners  in  years 
of  continuous  connection  with  the  bar  in  the 
United  States.  Orphaned  at  the  age  of  twelve 
years  and  obliged  to  support  himself  from  that 
time,  his  latent  powers  and  energies  were  early 
called  forth  and  he  soon  gave  proof  of  the  ele- 
mental strength  of  his  character,  which  in  later 
years  made  him  a  distinguished  representative 
of  the  legal  profession  in  Michigan  and  one 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


who  wielded  a  wide  influence  in  public  affairs. 
In  his  youth  he  learned  a  trade,  working 
through  the  day,  while  his  evening  hours  were 
devoted  to  reading  and  study.  He  early  re- 
alized the  importance  and  value  of  a  liberal  edu- 
cation and  after  attending  an  academy  during 
its  night  sessions  he  took  up  the  study  of  law 
during  the  evening  hours  and  thus  qualified 
himself  for  passing  an  examination  before 
Judge  Isaac  P.  Redfield,  whereby  he  was  ad- 
mitted to  practice  in  the  courts  of  Vermont. 

Captain  Walbridge  entered  upon  the  active 
work  at  the  bar  in  Plainfield,  Vermont,  and 
subsequently  located  in  Glover  in  the  same  state, 
continuing  a  member  of  the  bar  there  until 
thirty-two  years  of  age.  In  the  meantime  he 
had  married  and  in  1852  he  came  with  his 
family  to  Michigan,  settling  at  Saline,  where 
he  combined  a  law  practice  with  the  business  of 
merchandising.  Not  only  did  he  attain  promi- 
nence in  business  but  also  became  a  recognized 
factor  in  political  circles  and  was  present  at 
the  birth  of  the  republican  party  "under  the 
oaks/'  at  Jackson,  Michigan,  in  1854. 

In  1856  Captain  Walbridge  removed  from 
Saline  to  St.  Johns,  where  he  established  a 
permanent  residence  and  at  once  entered  upon 
the  practice  of  law.  He  served  as  prosecuting 
attorney  for  one  term  before  entering  the  mili- 
tary service  of  his  country.  A  champion  of  the 
cause  of  liberty  and  of  the  Union  he  was  com- 
missioned second  lieutenant  by  Governor  Blair 
in  1862,  and  was  assigned  to  serve  in  the  re- 
cruiting office  of  the  Twenty-third  Michigan 
Infantry.  He  thus  raised  Company  G  of  that 
regiment  and  was  mustered  in  as  its  captain  in 
the  month  of  July,  going  at  once  to  the  front. 
He  was  in  active  service  for  about  a  year  and 
a  half  but  while  in  camp  at  London,  Tennessee, 
he  became  ill  and,  unfitted  for  further  field 
service,  he  resigned  his  commission  and  on  a 
surgeon's  certificate  of  disability  was  honorably 
discharged,  after  which  he  returned  to  his  home 
in  St.  Johns.  While  in  the  army  he  was  de- 
tailed as  judge  advocate  in  the  court  marshal's 

office. 

Again  entering  upon  the  practice  of  his  pro- 
fession in  St.  Johns,   Captain  Walbridge  was 


soon  afterward  elected  prosecuting  attorney  of 
Clinton  county  and  also  served  as  circuit  court 
commissioner  for  several  terms.  In  1896  he 
was  once  more  nominated  and  elected  prosecut- 
ing attorney,  rendering  service  in  that  capacity 
which  made  his  incumbency  a  valued  one  to  this 
section  of  the  state.  At  the  time  of  his  death 
he  was  one  of  the  oldest  practicing  lawyers  of 
the  country.  Hale,  active  and  vigorous  up  to 
within  six  months  of  his  demise,  he  was  widely 
recognized  as  one  of  the  prominent  and  capable 
members  of  the  bar  of  central  Michigan.  In 
the  examination  of  witnesses  he  had  few  su- 
periors and  while  his  questions  were  searching 
in  their  scope  he  was  always  considerate  in  his 
treatment  of  those  called  before  the  courts  to 
testify  and  because  of  this  he  won  the  merited 
regard  of  many.  He  tried  important  cases  in 
the  circuit  courts  of  Michigan  and  his  name  is 
a  familiar  one  upon  the  reports  of  the  supreme 
court.  His  legal  learning,  his  analytical  mind 
and  the  readiness  with  which  he  grasped  the 
points  in  an  argument  all  combined  to  make 
him  a  strong  trial  lawyer  and  his  service  was 
equally  valuable  in  counsel  so  that  the  public  and 
the  profession  acknowledged  him  a  peer  of  the 
ablest  members  practicing  in  St.  Johns  and  the 
central  portion  of  the  state. 

Captain  Walbridge  was  married  while  in  the 
east  to  Miss  Zilpah  Allen,  a  native  of  Vermont 
and  a  descendant  of  General  Ethan  Allen,  who 
with  his  "Green  Mountain  Boys"  captured  Fort 
Ticonderoga  and  won  fame  for  the  Vermont 
soldiers  in  the  Revolutionary  war.  Mrs.  Wal- 
bridge still  survives  her  husband  and  their  sur- 
viving children  are:  Henry  E.  and  Edward  L., 
practicing  attorneys  of  St.  Johns ;  and  Ella,  the 
wife  of  Dr.  J.  H.  De  May,  of  Jackson. 

For  six  months  prior  to  his  demise  Captain 
Walbridge  was  in  ill  health  and  was  confined 
to  his  home  from  February  until  June.  On 
the  day  of  his  death  the  national  colors  were 
placed  at  half  mast  on  the  courthouse  and  on 
the  day  of  interment  the  circuit  court  adjourned 
and  the  business  houses  closed  out  of  respect 
to  his  memory  during  the  hour  of  the  funeral 
services.  Resident  members  of  the  old  Twenty- 
third  Michigan  Infantry  served  as  pallbearers, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


117 


while  the  Grand  Army  post  attended  in  a  body 
as  did  the  Masonic  fraternity,  which  conducted 
the  services.  Memorial  resolutions  of  respect 
were  passed  by  the  Clinton  county  bar  and  the 
feeling  throughout  the  city  was  one  of  deep 
and  widespread  regret  when  this  honored 
pioneer  lawyer  passed  away.  A  finely  balanced 
mind  and  a  well  rounded  character  had  gained 
him  professional  success  and  warm  personal 
friendships. 


JOHN  H.  CORBIT. 


John  H.  Corbit,  the  oldest  merchant  of  St. 
Johns,  for  fifty  years  connected  with  commer- 
cial pursuits  here  and  still  conducting  an  ex- 
tensive store  in  which  he  deals  in  hardware  and 
agricultural  implements,  is  a  native  of  the  town- 
ship of  Lewiston,  Niagara  county,  New  York. 
His  birth  occurred  on  the  30th  of  June,  1832, 
his  parents  being  George  and  Mary  (Gardner) 
Corbit.  The  father  was  a  native  of  Ireland  and 
was  a  weaver  by  trade.  Becoming  a  resident 
of  America  he  was  married  in  this  country  to 
Mary  Gardner,  who  was  born  in  the  United 
States  but  was  of  German  lineage.  Soon  after 
the  railway  was  completed  from  Lockport,  New 
York,  to  Niagara  Falls,  George  Corbit  was  ap- 
pointed station  agent  at  Pekin,  New  York, 
which  position  he  filled  for  many  years,  but  he 
came  to  St.  Johns,  Michigan,  to  spend  his  last 
days  and  here  passed  away  at  the  age  of  eighty 
years.  His  wife  died  at  the  age  of  fifty-three 
years. 

John  H.  Corbit  was  a  youth  of  fourteen  sum- 
mers at  the  time  of  his  mother's  death.  The 
following  year  he  left  home  and  starting  out  in 
the  world  on  his  own  account  has  since  been 
dependent  entirely  upon  his  labors  and  energies 
for  the  success  and  privileges  he  has  enjoyed. 
He  made  his  way  to  Battle  Creek,  Michigan, 
in  1854,  but  afterward  returned  to  New  York 
and  in  1855  removed  to  Albion,  Michigan.  He 
learned  the  tinner's  trade  as  an  apprentice  to 
the  firm  of  Flagler  &  Lewis,  at  Lockport,  New 
York,  his  term  of  apprenticeship  covering  three 
years,  beginning  in  1850.     He  was  afterward 


employed  by  Charles  Keep,  of  Lockport,  for  a 
year  and  later  followed  the  same  pursuit  as  an 
employe  at  Niagara  Falls  and  at  Pekin,  New 
York.  Coming  to  the  west  he  secured  a  posi- 
tion in  Albion,  where  he  remained  until  the 
spring  of  1856,  when  he  removed  to  St.  Johns 
and  here  embarked  in  business  on  his  own  ac- 
count, forming  a  partnership  with  William 
Mott  under  the  firm  name  of  Corbit  &  Mott, 
dealers  in  hardware.  This  arrangement  was 
maintained  for  four  years,  at  the  end  of  which 
time  Mr.  Corbit  purchased  his  partner's  in- 
terest. He  then  continued  alone  and  eventually 
he  sold  his  stock  and  purchased  the  site  of  his 
present  large  business  block  from  a  Mr.  Gear 
on  Walker  street  west.  A  small  building  stood 
on  this  site,  where  for  forty  years  Mr.  Corbit 
has  now  carried  on  business.  He  there  suc- 
ceeded Edward  Valentine,  with  whom  he  was 
associated  for  four  years  and  who  had  been  a 
dealer  in  agricultural  implements.  Thus  Mr. 
Corbit  extended  the  field  of  his  operations 
which  have  since  embraced  both  a  hardware  and 
agricultural  implement  trade.  From  1861  until 
1865  he  was  in  partnership  in  the  hardware 
business  with  John  B.  Chapman,  after  which 
he  bought  out  Mr.  Chapman's  interest.  He  has 
long  been  alone  and  is  to-day  the  oldest  repre- 
sentative of  commercial  interests  in  St.  Johns, 
having  for  almost  a  half  century  been  a  factor 
in  its  mercantile  circles,  his  name  being  honored 
and  respected  because  of  his  unfaltering  fidelity 
to  a  high  standard  of  commercial  ethics.  Dur- 
ing his  first  spring  in  St.  Johns  he  went  to 
Buffalo,  New  York,  to  purchase  a  stock  of 
goods  which  he  secured  partly  on  credit.  He 
borrowed  five  hundred  dollars  to  make  the  pur- 
chase and  the  goods  were  shipped  by  rail  to 
Fenton  and  thence  hauled  across  the  country 
by  wagon  to  St.  Johns — a  difficult  undertaking 
at  that  day  owing  to  the  poor  condition  of  the 
roads.  The  new  enterprise,  however,  proved 
prosperous  almost  from  the  start.  The  first 
year  he  had  a  good  trade  but  the  next  year  he 
was  not  so  fortunate,  for  the  crops  in  his  lo- 
cality failed  and  his  sales  were  thereby 
diminished.  The  end  of  the  second  year  there- 
fore found  him  in  debt  and  upon  his  borrowed 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


money  he  paid  ten  per  cent  interest,  but  better 
times  came  and  through  his  persistency  of  pur- 
pose and  unfaltering  diligence  he  gained  success. 
Year  by  year  his  capital  was  increased  and  he 
enlarged  his  store  in  order  to  meet  the  de- 
mands of  a  growing  patronage.  The  building 
which  he  first  occupied  on  the  present  site  was 
a  little  structure  twenty-five  by  fifty  feet,  to 
which  he  has  added  from  time  to  time  until  he 
now  has  a  large  and  well  appointed  business 
block  in  which  he  carries  an  extensive  stock. 
For  a  number  of  years  he  has  been  a  member 
of  the  Business  Men's  Association  and  is  the 
vice  president  of  the  State  Bank  of  St.  Johns, 
being  one  of  the  organizers  and  directors  and 
retaining  this  connection  with  the  institution  for 
the  past  five  years. 

In   1 86 1    Mr.   Corbit  was  married  to  Miss 
Jennie   Earl,   a   daughter  of   Daniel   Earl,   of 
Baldwinsville,  New  York.     Their  only  surviv- 
ing child  is  Helen,  who  resides  with  her  father. 
They  lost  two  daughters,  Fanny  at  the  age  of 
five  years  and  Agnes  at  the  age  of  eighteen 
years.     Mr.  Corbit  has  never  been  a  politician, 
although  he  manifests  a  public-spirited  interest 
in  the  political  situations  of  the  country  and  the 
outcome  of  the  important  issues  before  the  peo- 
ple.    The  only  office  which  he  has  ever  held 
was  that  of  member  of  the  school  board  for  one 
term.     He  was  one  of  the  promoters  of  St. 
Johns  Episcopal   church,   for  many  years  has 
served   on   its   vestry   and   filled   the  office  of 
senior  warden.    His  wife  and  daughter  are  also 
members  of  that  church.     He  has  been  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Masonic  fraternity  since  1861  and 
belongs  to  the  Ancient  Order  of  United  Work- 
men.     He  is  one  of  the  reliable,  trustworthy 
merchants    in   this   city,    of   splendid   business 
qualifications  and  good  judgment  and  may  well 
be  termed  one  of  the  founders  of  the  city,  for 
the   growth   and   development   of  every   com- 
munity depends  upon  its  commercial  and  in- 
dustrial   activity.     He    has    concentrated    his 
energies  upon  one  line  of  business  and  therein 
has  attained  splendid  success,  earning  for  him- 
self an  enviable  reputation,  while  in  his  deal- 
ings he  is  known  for  his  prompt  and  honorable 
methods  which  have  won  him  the  deserved  and 


unqualified  trust  of  his  fellowmen.  He  has  a 
beautiful  home,  erected  in  1861,  at  which  time 
the  surrounding  country  was  almost  an  un- 
broken forest,  and  he  has  watched  with  interest 
its  growth  and  development. 


THOMAS  L.  SWARTHOUT. 

Few  men  are  more  familiar  with  the  history 
of  pioneer  life  in  Clinton  county  than  Thomas 
Lonsbury  Swarthout,  of  Ovid,  whose  mind 
bears  the  impress  of  the  early  historic  annals  of 
this  section  of  the  state  for  he  has  been  a  wit- 
ness of  the  growth  and  progress  of  the  county 
as  it  has  emerged  from  frontier  conditions  and 
taken  its  place  with  the  leading  counties  of 
the  commonwealth,  having  all  of  the  ad- 
vantages and  improvements  known  to  the  older 
east.  He  was  born  in  Romulus,  Seneca  county, 
New  York,  October  6,  1831,  his  parents  being 
William  S.  and  Betsey  (Willett)  Swarthout, 
in  whose  family  were  seven  sons,  Thomas  L. 
being  the  fifth  in  order  of  birth.  At  the  age 
of  five  years  he  accompanied  his  parents  to 
Michigan,  the  family  home  being  established  in 
Victor  township,  St.  Johns  county. 

It  was  in  1837  that  his-  father  and  six  other 
heads  of  families  left  New  York  and  started 
to  the  west.  They  had  to  make  roads  in  St. 
Johns  county  for  none  had  as  yet  been  laid  out 
and  the  father  built  the  log  house  into  which 
the  family  removed.  Dr.  Laing  at  that  time 
was  the  nearest  neighbor,  his  home  being  three 
and  a  half  miles  away.  In  the  summer  of 
1836  Rev.  Isaac  Bennett  came  to  the  Swarth- 
out home  to  preach  as  a  missionary  sent  out  by 
the  Ohio  conference  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church.  Many  settlers  came  to  the  county  in 
1838,  1839  and  1840,  which  years  constituted 
a  period  of  rapid  pioneer  growth.  All  kinds  of 
wild  game  was  to  be  had  in  abundance,  the 
fish  were  plentiful  in  the  rivers  and  there  were 
wild  berries,  all  of  which  proved  useful  to  the 
pioneer  settlers,  many  of  whom  were  in  limited 
financial  circumstances.  Mr.  Swarthout  well 
remembers   the    Chippewa   Indians    and    their 


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T.  L.  SWARTHOUT. 


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— — — r— 


MRS.  T.  L.  SWARTHOUT. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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chief  who  would  visit  at  the  Swarthout  home 
and  dine  with  the  family.  He  was  a  tall,  well 
formed  Indian  and  lived  to  the  advanced  age  of 
one  hundred  and  five  years.  In  those  early 
days  wheat  and  other  grain  were  threshed  on  the 
oround  and  winnowed  by  hand.  The  produce 
of  the  farm  was  taken  to  Detroit  or  Pontiac 
and  the  trip  to  the  former  place  required  a  week. 
Few  are  as  familiar  with  the  pioneer  history 
as  is  Mr.  Swarthout  and  his  reminiscences  are 
very  interesting,  showing  the  conditions  of 
things  that  existed  in  the  early  days  before  the 
white  man  had  carried  forward  to  any  extent 
his  work  of  reclaiming  this  district  for  the  pur- 
pose of  civilization. 

In  his  youth  Mr.  Swarthout  assisted  his 
father  upon  the  home  farm.  He  was  reared 
amid  pioneer  influences  and  surroundings, 
spending  his  boyhood,  youth  and  manhood  upon 
the  farm  in  Victor  township.  At  the  age  of 
sixteen  years  he  began  teaching  in  the  sub- 
scription schools  and  was  thus  employed  during 
the  winter  for  fourteen  years,  receiving  from 
seventeen  to  twenty  dollars  per  month.  He 
took  up  his  abode  on  a  farm  on  section  12, 
Victor  township,  in  1854  and  there  continued 
to  reside  for  nearly  a  half  century,  or  until 
1903.  His  farm,  which  he  still  owns,  com- 
prises two  hundred  and  fifteen  acres  of  rich 
and  valuable  land,  which  he  developed  from  a 
wild  tract.  In  1903,  however,  he  put  aside  agri- 
cultural pursuits  and  removed  to  Ovid,  where 
he  is  now  living  retired  in  a  comfortable  home. 
In  1872  he  built  fine  buildings  upon  his  farm, 
including  a  substantial  residence.  He  was  an 
extensive  raiser  of  and  dealer  in  sheep  and  also 
gave  some  attention  to  cattle,  but  for  a  long 
period  was  known  as  one  of  the  most  successful 
sheep  raisers  of  Clinton  county. 

On  the  5th  of  April,  1854,  Mr.  Swarthout 
was  married  to  Miss  Mary  Parker,  who  at  that 
time  was  living  in  Victor  township,  Clinton 
county.  Her  parents  were  John  and  Sarah 
(Cronkite)  Parker,  and  she  was  born  in 
Romulus,  Seneca  county,  New  York,  December 
2I>  1834.  She  became  the  mother  of  a  son 
and  daughter:  Edson,  who  is  now  living  in 
Ovid;  and  Nora  E.,   the  wife  of  Charles  E. 


Warner,  a  farmer  and  prominent  citizen  of 
Falkton,  South  Dakota.  They  have  three 
daughters,  Marjorie  Swarthout,  Gladys  Mil- 
dred and  Mary  Geraldine. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Swarthout  has  long 
been  a  stalwart  republican  and  has  served  his 
fellow  townsmen  in  various  official  capacities, 
acting  as  township  clerk  many  years,  township 
treasurer  and  school  inspector  several  years. 
Since  the  age  of  seventeen  years  he  has  been 
a  devoted  member  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church,  to  which  his  wife  belongs,  and  they  are 
widely  recognized  as  earnest,  consistent  Chris- 
tian people.  He  has  gained  a  valuable  com- 
petence through  well  directed  effort  and  untir- 
ing enterprise  and  is  now  enjoying  the  fruits 
of  his  former  toil  in  honorable  retirement  from 
further  labor. 


FRED  R.  EVERETT. 

Fred  R.  Everett,  a  representative  of  the  Ovid 
bar,  was  born  in  Shiawassee  county,  February 
16,  1875,  his  parents  being  John  W.  and  Jarie 
Everett,  natives  of  New  York.  After  leaving 
the  Empire  state  when  a  young  man  the  father 
engaged  in  the  operation  of  a  mill  at  Ithaca  for 
a  number  of  years,  when  he  was  appointed 
keeper  of  the  Jackson  prison,  where  he  remained 
for  about  ten  years.  On  the  expiration  of  that 
period  he  engaged  in  merchandising  in  Burton, 
Michigan,  and  subsequently  followed  the  same 
pursuit  in  Ithaca.  Eventually  he  retired  from 
business  with  a  comfortable  competence  earned 
through  untiring  labor  and  careful  management 
in  former  years,  and  he  is  still  making  his  home 
in  Ithaca  in  the  enjoyment  of  a  well  earned  rest. 
His  wife  departed  this  life  in  1889.  Of  the  six 
children  of  that  marriage  three  are  living,  Fred 
R.  being  the  youngest.  The  others  are  Mrs. 
Lena  B.  High,  of  Ovid,  and  Howard,  of  St. 
Paul,  Minnesota. 

Fred  R.  Everett  acquired  a  common-school 
education  and  continued  his  studies  in  the  high 
schools  of  Ovid  and  of  Owosso,  while  later  he 
pursued  a  business  university  course  in  1893. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT   OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


During  that  time  he  also  took  up  the  study  of 
law  in  Ovid  and  after  careful  preliminary  read- 
ing was  admitted  to  the  bar  by  Judge  Daboll 
in  1895.  In  the  same  year  he  went  to  Ann 
Arbor,  where  he  matriculated  in  the  State 
University  and  was  graduated  with  the  law 
class  of  1896.  He  then  returned  to  Ovid, 
where  he  has  since  engaged  in  practice  and  for 
six  or  eight  years  he  served  as  village  attorney 
here,  while  for  eight  consecutive  years  he  was 
circuit  court  commissioner.  He  has  always 
been  active  in  politics  and  has  been  a  member 
of  the  election  board.  His  chief  attention,  how- 
ever, is  devoted  to  his  profession  and  his  fidelity 
to  his  clients'  interests  is  proverbial,  while  in 
the  trial  of  a  case  his  presentation  of  the  facts 
bearing  upon  the  suit  show  careful  preparation 
and  thorough  investigation. 

On  the  19th  of  September,  1899,  Mr.  Everett 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Laura  M. 
Grimes,  of  Detroit.  She  has  a  brother  George 
who  lives  in  Detroit  and  a  sister  Katherine,  also 
a  resident  of  Detroit,  while  her  brother  Mathew 
is  dispatcher  at  Durand,  Michigan,  and  John 
is  a  resident  of  Canada.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Everett 
occupy  an  enviable  position  in  the  social  circles 
of  the  town  in  which  they  make  their  home  and 
are  people  of  genuine  worth  and  well  merited 
popularity. 

HENRY  C.  LACY. 

Among  the  early  settlers  of  Michigan  is 
numered  Henry  C.  Lacy,  now  living  on  section 
36,  Victor  township.  He  is  a  well-to-do  farmer 
with  a  tract  of  eighty  acres  that  is  valuable  be- 
cause of  the  improvements  he  has  placed  upon 
it  and  also  by  reason  of  the  productiveness  of 
the  fields.  A  resident  of  Michigan  since  1839, 
he  is  therefore  familiar  with  its  history  from 
territorial  days  down  to  the  present  and  has 
witnessed  its  wonderful  transformation  as  it 
has  emerged  from  pioneer  environment  to  be- 
come a  factor  in  the  great  sisterhood  of  states 
and  a  leader  in  various  lines  of  industrial  prog- 
ress. Mr.  Lacy  has  been  a  resident  of  Clinton 
county  since  1868  and  in  community  affairs  has 
manifested  an  active  and  helpful  interest.    Born 


in  Wyoming  county,  New  York,  on  the  27th 
of  November,  1826,  he  is  a  son  of  Eli  Lacy, 
likewise  a  native  of  the  Empire  state.  His 
mother  bore  the  maiden  name  of  Mary  Frank- 
lin and  was  a  native  of  Massachusetts.  The 
marriage  of  the  parents  was  celebrated  in  New 
York,  and  Eli  Lacy  followed  farming  in  Wyo- 
ming county  until  after  the  birth  of  five  of  their 
sons.  In  1839  he  removed  with  his  family  to 
Michigan,  settling  first  in  Oakland  county, 
where  he  later  purchased  land  and  developed 
a  farm,  upon  which  he  reared  his  children. 
There  he  continued  to  live  until  called  to  the 
home  beyond. 

Henry  C.  Lacy  spent  the  greater  part  of  his 
childhood  and  youth  in  Oakland  county,  where 
he  was  reared  to  farm  life,  remaining  with  his 
father  until  he  had  attained  his  majority.  He 
then  started  out  upon  an  active  business  career 
as  a  farm  hand,  working  by  the  month.  For 
one  year  he  received  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
eight  dollars  for  his  labor  and  saved  out  of 
that  sum  one  hundred  dollars.  As  a  com- 
panion and  helpmate  on  life's  journey  he  chose 
Miss  Elizabeth  Rice,  and  their  marriage  was 
celebrated  in  Oakland  county  in  1850.  She  was 
born  at  Boston,  Massachusetts,  but  was  reared 
in  Detroit,  Michigan.  Her  father,  Paul  Rice, 
was  a  business  man  first  of  Boston  and  later  of 
Detroit,  while  subsequently  he  became  a  farmer 
of  Oakland  county. 

Following  his  marriage  Mr.  Lacy  engaged 
in  cultivating  a  farm  which  he  owned  in  Oak- 
land county,  making  his  home  there  for  several 
years.  Subsequently  he  removed  to  Shiawassee 
county,  where  he  became  the  owner  of  eighty 
acres  which  he  cultivated  for  four  years  and  in 
1868  he  took  up  his  abode  in  Victor  township, 
Clinton  county,  where  he  bought  eighty  acres 
of  land  in  the  midst  of  the  forest.  Upon  this 
place  stood  a  log  house,  while  five  acres  of  the 
land  had  been  cleared,  but  otherwise  the  farm 
was  entirely  unimproved.  Mr.  Lacy  at  once  be- 
gan to  clear  and  fence  the  property  and  develop 
a  farm  according  to  modern  methods  and  now 
all  is  in  a  good  state  of  cultivation.  The  place  is 
well  fenced,  the  land  has  been  made  productive 
through  the  routine  of  crops  and  the  judicious 


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use  of  fertilizers,  and  now  large  crops  are  an- 
nually gathered,  and  the  improvements  which 
Mr.  Lacy  has  placed  upon  the  farm  include  a 
neat  residence  and  two  good  barns.  He  is  to- 
day a  substantial  farmer  of  Victor  township 
but  when  he  started  out  in  life  for  himself  he 
was  a  poor  man  with  no  capital  and  with  naught 
to  aid  him  save  his  own  labor  and  determi- 
nation. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lacy  have  three  children:  \V. 
H.,  who  is  represented  in  this  work;  Nellie,  the 
wife  of  Payne  Knight,  a  resident  of  Shiawassee 
county;  and  Minnie,  the  wife  of  William 
Houghton,  of  Chicago,  by  whom  she  has  three 
children,  Earl  D.,  Ray  and  Howard  Hough- 
ton. Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lacy  also  lost  a  son,  Henry, 
who  died  at  the  age  of  ten  years. 

In  his  political  affiliation  Mr.  Lacy  was 
originally  a  whig  and  upon  the  organization  of 
the  republican  party  joined  its  ranks  and  in 
i860  supported  Lincoln  but  in  recent  years  has 
given  his  support  to  the  democracy.  He  has 
never  been  an  office  holder  nor  has  he  desired 
political  preferment.  He  deserves  much  praise 
for  what  he  has  accomplished  as  his  advance- 
ment in  the  business  world  is  due  to  no  in- 
herited fortune  nor  the  aid  of  influential  friends 
but  to  labor  that  has  been  unremitting  and 
energy  that  never  flags.  He  was  one  of  the 
first  men  to  take  up  his  abode  in  Michigan  and 
is  now  one  of  the  few  remaining  early  settlers. 
His  residence  in  this  part  of  the  state — in  Oak- 
land, Shiawassee  and  Clinton  counties — covers 
sixty-six  years.  He  has  seen  the  great  forests 
felled,  the  fields  cleared  and  fenced,  the  towns 
and  cities  built  and  many  industrial  and  com- 
mercial enterprises  introduced,  while  the  agri- 
cultural development  has  shown  the  great  fer- 
tility and  richness  of  the  soil.  He  has  broken 
the  wild  land,  cleared  and  fenced  it,  and  in 
early  days  did  his  farming  with  eight  yoke  of 
oxen.  He  has  helped  substantially  in  the  im- 
provement and  development  of  three  counties 
and  while  thus  engaged  he  and  his  wife  en- 
dured many  hardships  and  privations,  but  their 
frugality,  economy  and  capable  management 
have  secured  to  them  a  very  desirable  com- 
petence for  old  age.    Mr.  Lacy  has  now  reached 


the  age  of  four  score  years  but  is  still  hale  and 
hearty  and  gives  his  personal  supervision  to  his 
farm. 


JOHN  E.  HINKSON,  B.  S.,  M.  D. 

Dr.  John  E.  Hinkson,  successfully  engaged 
in  the  practice  of  medicine  at  Wacousta,  is  a 
native  of  Amadore,  Sanilac  county,  Michigan, 
his  birth  having  occurred  upon  a  farm  that  his 
grandfather,  George  Hinkson,  had  purchased 
from  the  government  and  which  is  still  in 
possession  of  the  family.  His  natal  day  was 
December  18,  1870.  The  grandfather  came  of 
an  old  Vermont  family  and  removed  to  Canada. 
His  wife,  Mrs.  Farwell  Hinkson,  was  born  in 
Paisley,  Scotland.  Their  son,  George  Hink- 
son, Jr.,  was  born  in  Guelph,  Ontario,  and 
married  Miss  Jane  McCardle,  also  of  that 
locality.  On  coming  to  Michigan  they  settled 
in  Sanilac  county  and  the  father  became  not 
only  a  successful  agriculturist  but  also  one  of 
the  distinguished  citizens  of  that  locality,  leav- 
ing the  impress  of  his  views  and  life  upon  public 
thought  and  action.  He  served  as  supervisor 
of  Worth  township,  Sanilac  county,  filling  the 
office  for  several  terms  and  serving  two  terms 
as  chairman  of  the  board,  and  in  1888  he  was 
elected  to  represent  his  district  in  the  state  legis- 
lature. He  died  in  the  year  1903,  at  the  age 
of  seventy-two  years,  and  his  wife  passed  away 
in  1885,  at  the  age  of  fifty-two  years.  In  their 
family  were  six  children,  of  whom  four  are 
living,  one  dying  in  infancy.  Maria  is  the  wife 
of  James  W.  Clyne,  who  resides  on  the  old 
homestead  in  Worth  township,  Sanilac  county. 
Margaret,  the  wife  of  McKinstry  Burt,  is  a 
graduate  of  the  Farrand  Training  school,  of 
Detroit,  and  now  living  in  Detroit,  Michigan. 
John  E.  of  this  review  is  the  next  of  the  family. 
Bertha  is  a  graduate  of  the  Michigan  Agri- 
cultural College  of  the  class  of  1905.  William 
J.  Hinkson,  a  brother  of  the  Doctor,  died  in 
October,  1891,  of  typhoid  fever,  at  Harper 
Hospital,  when  twenty-six  years  of  age.  He 
was  a  graduate  of  the  Michigan  Agricultural 
College    and    engineering    department    of    the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


University  of  Michigan,  at  Ann  Arbor,  and 
was  assistant  bridge  engineer  of  the  Michigan 
Central  Railroad  Company,  being  stationed  at 
Detroit  at  the  time  of  his  demise. 

John  E.  Hinkson  pursued  his  early  education 
in  the  district  schools  and  in  the  fall  of  1888 
entered  the  Michigan  Agricultural  College, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  in  June,  1892, 
having  pursued  the  full  agricultural  course,  re- 
ceiving the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Science.  The 
same  year  he  entered  the  University  of  Michi- 
gan, at  Ann  Arbor,  and  was  graduated  from 
the  medical  department  in  1895.  In  January, 
1896,  he  located  for  practice  at  Wacousta, 
where  he  has  since  remained,  enjoying  a  liberal 
anc'  constantly  increasing  patronage.  Having 
an"  >tion  in  a  military  direction  Dr.  Hinkson 
in  1890  took  the  competitive  examination  for 
West  Point  held  at  Lapeer,  Michigan,  winning 
first  rank  in  the  mental  examination,  but  fourth 
in  the  physical,  receiving  the  appointment  as 
alternate.  Prior  to  entering  upon  his  profes- 
sional career  Dr.  Hinkson  engaged  in  teaching 
for  two  years  in  St.  Clair  county.  His  father 
had  been  connected  with  educational  work  for 
many  years  but  the  Doctor  comes  more  par- 
ticularly from  a  family  of  physicians.  His 
uncle,  Irving  McCardle,  died  while  studying 
medicine  at  Ann  Arbor,  while  Alfred  Hudson, 
a  cousin,  is  now  a  surgeon  in  the  United  States 
Navy,  and  William  Farwell,  a  cousin  of  the 
Doctor's  father,  is  at  this  time  one  of  the  med- 
ical directors  of  the  United  States  Navy. 

When  attending  the  Agricultural  College  Dr. 
Hinkson  was  a  member  of  the  Eclectic  Society; 
a  director  in  the  Inter-Collegiate  Athletic  As- 
sociation in  1892  and  was  president  of  the  Ora- 
torical Association  the  same  year.  In  the  line 
of  his  profession  he  is  connected  with  the  Clin- 
ton County  Medical  Society,  the  State  Medical 
Society  and  the  American  Medical  Association. 
He  keeps  in  touch  with  the  progress  of  the  pro- 
fession as  investigation  and  research  continu- 
ally broaden  the  knowledge  and  promote  the 
efficiency  of  the  medical  fraternity. 

On  the  29th  of  April,  1896,  Dr.  Hinkson 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Bertha  Mack- 
lem,    of   Croswell,    Sanilac   county,    Michigan, 


who  died  on  the  6th  of  July  of  the  same  year. 
On  the  2d  of  October,  1897,  he  was  united  in 
marriage  to  Miss  Ida  Love,  of  South  Riley,  and 
they  have  one  child,  Alice  B.,  who  was  born 
January  17,  1899.  Mrs.  Hinkson' s  great- 
great-grandfather  in  the  maternal  line  was  a 
cousin  of  William  Penn. 

In  his  fraternal  relations  Dr.  Hinkson  is  a 
Mason,  having  become  a  member  of  Lansing 
lodge,  No.  33,  A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  in  1892.  He 
afterward  attained  the  Royal  Arch  degree  in 
the  chapter  at  Grand  Ledge  and  is  now  master 
of  Wacousta  lodge,  No.  359,  and  worthy  pat- 
ron of  the  Eastern  Star,  chapter  No.  133.  He 
likewise  belongs  to  the  Maccabees  tent  and  the 
Modern  Woodmen  camp,  both  of  Wacousta, 
and  in  both  is  examining  physician.  He  is  a 
director  of  the  Grand  Ledge  State  Bank  and 
is  especially  interested  in  community  affairs, 
having  for  six  years  been  secretary  of  the 
school  board  of  Wacousta,  while  in  many 
other  ways  he  has  materially  aided  in  the  ad- 
vancement, upbuilding  and  welfare  of  his  com- 
munity. In  politics  he  is  a  stalwart  republican 
and  has  served  as  a  member  of  the  township 
and  county  committees. 


ROBERT  C.  LOWE. 


Robert  C.  Lowe  is  an  active,  energetic  busi- 
ness man  who  in  former  years  was  connected 
with  agricultural  interests  and  later  was  a  dealer 
in  hardware  and  implements  at  Maple  Rapids. 
He  is  a  stockholder  in  the  Independent  Tele- 
phone Company  and  his  ready  recognition  and 
utilization  of  business  opportunities  and  his  un- 
faltering purpose  have  been  the  strong  and 
salient  features  in  his  successful  career. 

He  is  a  native  son  of  Duplain  township,  born 
on  the  14th  of  December,  1853.  His  father, 
Nathan  R.  Lowe,  first  opened  his  eyes  to  the 
light  of  day  in  Chemung  county,  New  York,  in 
1800,  and  was  a  son  of  Cornelius  Lowe.  In  the 
state  of  his  nativity  he  was  reared  and  was 
married  three  times,  the  second  time  being  in 
Clinton  county  when  he  wedded  Mrs.   Sarah 


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MISS  GLADYS  C.  LOWE. 


MR.  AND  MRS.  R.  C.  LOWE. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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Scott,  nee  Gilmore,  a  widow.  She  was  born 
in  New  York  and  reared  and  educated  there. 
The  year  1838  witnessed  the  arrival  of  Nathan 
R.  Lowe  in  Michigan,  at  which  time  he  pur- 
chased a  tract  of  raw  land  in  the  midst  of  the 
forest  in  Duplain  township,  Clinton  county, 
near  the  colony.  He  cut  a  road  through  the 
woods  to  his  place,  for  at  that  time  no  highway 
had  been  laid  out.  In  fact  the  entire  country- 
side seemed  just  as  it  did  when  it  came  from 
the  hand  of  nature.  The  native  forest  trees 
covered  the  district  and  the  work  of  improve- 
ment and  progress  had  scarcely  been  begun.  He 
cleared  and  developed  his  farm  there,  having 
three  hundred  and  twenty  acres  of  land,  but 
later  he  sold  that  property  and  removed  to  Essex 
township,  settling  near  the  Lowe  church,  where 
he  owned  and  cultivated  three  hundred  and 
twenty  acres  of  land,  spending  his  remaining, 
days  there.  His  death  occurred  in  1873  and 
thus  passed  away  one  of  the  honored  pioneer 
settlers  of  the  county,  a  man  whose  efforts  were 
effective  in  transforming  the  pioneer  region  into 
a  district  supplied  with  all  the  evidences  of 
a  modern  civilization. 

Robert  C.  Lowe  is  one  of  the  two  sons  born 
of  his  father's  second  marriage  and  was  reared 
in  Essex  township,  acquiring  his  education  in 
the  common  schools.  He  remained  with  his 
father  until  his  death  and  then  started  out  in 
life  on  his  own  account.  Purchasing  the  in- 
terest of  the  other  heirs  in  the  old  homestead  he 
thus  succeeded  to  the  ownership  of  two  hundred 
and  eighty  acres  of  land.  He  engaged  in  farm- 
ing, owning  two  places,  and  he  improved  the 
property  by  the  erection  of  attractive  residences, 
two  good  barns,  a  granary  and  other  outbuild- 
ings for  the  shelter  of  grain  and  stock.  In  his 
farm  work  he  is  practical  and  systematic,  his 
labors  being  attended  with  a  gratifying  measure 
of  success.  He  continued  in  the  active  improve- 
ment of  the  farm  until  the  spring  of  1897,  wlien 
he  rented  the  place  and  removed  to  Maple 
Rapids,  where  he  has  since  resided.  He  still 
owns,  however,  his  large  and  well  developed 
farm  property  in  Elba  township,  Gratiot  county. 
After  taking  up  his  abode  in  the  village  he  en- 
gaged in  the  hardware  and  implement  business, 


conducting  his  store  with  good  success  for  five 
years,  but  has  since  sold  out.  He  is  a  stock- 
holder in  the  Independent  Telephone  Company 
and  is  regarded  as  a  man  of  excellent  business 
ability  and  keen  discernment,  whose  well  con- 
ducted labors  have  been  the  source  of  gratify- 
ing prosperity. 

On  the  23d  of  December,  1881,  in  Essex 
township,  Mr.  Lowe  was  married  to  Miss  Net- 
tie Bottum,  a  native  of  Essex  township,  where 
she  was  reared  and  educated.  For  six  years 
she  was  a  capable  teacher  of  the  county  and 
later  served  as  school  inspector  for  three  years. 
Her  father,  John  R.  Bottum,  was  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Michigan,  who  came  to  this 
state  from  New  York.  He  married  Caroline 
Clark,  who  was  born  and  reared  in  Auburn, 
New  York,  and  was  a  sister  of  Jerome  Clark. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lowe  became  the  parents  of  two 
children  but  lost  their  infant  son.  The  daugh- 
ter, Gladys  G,  is  yet  at  home.  The  parents  and 
daughter  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal church  and  Mr.  Lowe  is  serving  as  one 
of  its  officers,  taking  an  active  part  in  its  work 
and  doing  all  in  his  power  to  extend  its  influ- 
ence. The  Lowe  church  was  named  in  honor 
of  the  family.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Grange 
and  a  number  of  farmers'  clubs  and  takes  an 
active  interest  in  all  that  pertains  to  the  agri- 
cultural development  of  this  part  of  the  state. 
His  political  support  has  been  given  to  the  re- 
publican party  since  age  conferred  upon  him 
the  right  of  franchise.  He  has  been  elected 
and  served  as  township  drain  commissioner  and 
was  chosen  supervisor  to  fill  out  an  unexpired 
term.  He  has  been  a  delegate  to  the  county 
conventions  and  is  a  firm  believer  in  the  prin- 
ciples of  his  party.  He  is  much  interested  in 
general  progress  and  improvement  along  all 
lines  relating  to  the  material,  intellectual,  po- 
litical and  moral  advancement  of  his  community 
and  is  known  as  a  man  of  genuine,  personal 
worth  as  well  as  of  good  business  ability  that 
has  resulted  in  well  merited  prosperity.  He  and 
his  wife  purchased  nine  acres  of  land  in  Maple 
Rapids,  which  they  laid  out  in  town  lots  and 
improved  by  the  erection  of  good  residences, 
selling  the  property  later  at  a  handsome  profit. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


They  have  a  wide  circle  of  warm  friends  and 
enjoy  the  good  will  and  trust  of  all  with  whom 
they  have  been  brought  in  contact. 


JOHN  LINK. 


John  Link,  prominent  in  political  circles  of 
Ovid,  is  now  filling  the  positions  of  township 
clerk  and  of  village  assessor  and  is  also  en- 
gaged in  the  insurance  business.  He  was  born 
in  Flint  township,  Genesee  county,  Michigan, 
February  3,  1843,  and  is  descended  from  Ger- 
man ancestry.  His  parents,  John  and  Sarah 
B.  (Stanard)  Link,  were  natives  of  Genesee 
county,  New  York,  and  came  to  Michigan  in 
1837,  settling  in  Flint  township,  Genesee 
county.  The  father  opened  up  a  farm  in  the 
midst  of  a  tract  of  wild  land  and  there  spent 
his  remaining  days.  The  brothers  of  the  fam- 
ily, five  in  number,  went  to  various  western 
states  and  one  of  these,  Emory  Link,  is  now 
living  in  Los  Angeles,  California,  at  the  age 
of  seventy-nine  years.  John  Link  of  this  re- 
view is  one  of  a  family  of  nine  children  and 
those  who  still  survive  are  Abram,  who  is  liv- 
ing in  Flint  township,  Genesee  county,  Michi- 
gan; John,  of  this  review;  Ambrose,  who  is 
living  in  Flint,  Michigan;  Mary  Jane,  the  wife 
of  Daniel  Ryant,  of  Flint;  Celestia,  the  widow 
of  Stephen  McVane,  of  St.  Louis,  Michigan; 
and  Henrietta,  the  wife  of  Henry  Parkhurst, 
of  Flint.  Those  deceased  are:  Milton  H. ; 
Francis  M.;  and  Elizabeth,  who  was  the  wife 
of  George  Adams,  of  Flint. 

John  Link  received  but  a  limited  education, 
remaining  upon  his  father's  farm  until  seven- 
teen years  of  age.  He  then  began  working  in 
a  machine  shop  at  Flint  but  afterward  returned 
to  the  farm  and  when  nineteen  years  of  age 
he  enlisted  on  the  20th  of  June,  1862,  as  a 
member  of  Company  B,  First  Michigan  Engi- 
neers and  Mechanics.  He  joined  the  army  as 
a  private  and  was  mustered  in  at  Detroit.  He 
met  his  regiment  at  Louisville,  Kentucky,  and 
participated  in  the  engagements  at  Perryville, 
Stone  River,   Chattanooga,   Atlanta,   the  siege 


of  Savannah  and  Bentonville,  although  this 
was  not  supposed  to  be  a  fighting  regiment. 
He  was  never  wounded  and  was  promoted  to 
the  rank  of  corporal  at  Savannah,  Georgia. 
He  participated  in  the  entire  Atlanta  cam- 
paign and  was  discharged  at  Washington,  D. 
C,  being  mustered  out  at  Jackson,  Michigan, 
in  June,   1865. 

Mr.  Link  then  made  his  way  to  Flint,  Michi- 
gan, and  worked  at  the  carpenter's  trade  until 
1868,  when  he  came  to  Ovid,  where  he  con- 
ducted a  meat  market,  afterward  following  car- 
pentering for  four  years.  Later  he  became  as- 
sistant postmaster,  serving  in  that  capacity  for 
thirteen  years  from  1875  until  1888  under 
Postmasters  Mead,  Cowan  and  Beattie.  He 
was  afterward  variously  engaged,  acting  as 
bookkeeper  for  some  time  for  different  firms. 
Three  years  were  thus  passed  and  he  was  then 
elected  township  treasurer  of  Ovid  township 
for  a  term  of  two  years.  Later  he  engaged  in 
the  restaurant  business  but  in  1895  was  chosen 
township  clerk,  was  re-elected  in  1896  and  also 
chosen  the  same  year  to  the  office  of  village 
assessor.  Since  that  time  he  has  continuously 
served  in  this  office  with  the  exception  of  two 
years  and  is  still  holding  both  positions.  In 
politics  he  is  a  republican,  likewise  taking  an 
active  part  in  the  work  and  growth  of  the  party. 
He  is  likewise  agent  for  the  Queens,  Indian- 
apolis, Pennsylvania  and  German  Alliance  In- 
surance Companies  and  the  policies  which  he 
annually  writes  represents  a  large  figure. 

On  the  15th  of  February,  1872,  Mr.  Link 
was  married  to  Miss  Jennie  M.  Tibbitts,  a 
daughter  of  Horace  M.  Tibbitts,  of  Fairfield, 
Michigan,  and  they  have  one  child,  Charles  W., 
of  Detroit,  who  is  superintendent  of  the  De- 
troit Motor  Company.  Mr.  Link  is  a  member 
of  the  lodge  and  chapter  of  the  Masonic  fra- 
ternity, having  been  made  a  Mason  in  1865. 
He  has  occupied  various  chairs  in  the  order  and 
is  now  king  of  the  chapter.  He  likewise  be- 
longs to  the  Grand  Army  post  and  was  its  com- 
mander in  1897-8.  He  is  worthy  patron  of  the 
Eastern  Star  and  was  a  member  of  the  relief 
commission  for  fourteen  years.  In  govern- 
ment service,  whether  in  military  action  or  in 


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JOHN  LINK. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


133 


political  office,  he  is  always  found  loyal  to  the 
trust  reposed  in  him  and  to  the  position  which 
he  takes. 


JOSEPH  ARENS. 


Joseph  Arens,  now  deceased,  was  for  many 
years  a  well  known  resident  of  Clinton  county, 
honored  and  respected  by  all  who  knew  him. 
He  was  born  and  reared  on  a  farm  within  a 
mile  and  a  half  of  the  village  of  Westphalia  and 
at  the  age  of  fourteen  years  left  the  old  home- 
stead and  went  to  Detroit  in  order  to  pursue  a 
commercial  course  of  study.  After  successfully 
passing  the  examinations  there  he  returned  to 
Westphalia,  where  he  became  bookkeeper  for 
Casper  Rademacher,  who  was  at  that  time  con- 
ducting a  flourishing  mercantile  business  at  this 
point.  For  five  years  Mr.  Arens  remained  in 
his  employ,  at  the  end  of  which  time  Mr.  Rade- 
macher failed  in  business.  Mr.  Arens  then  be- 
came associated  with  his  brother-in-law,  Peter 
Thome,  and  they  purchased  the  brick  store 
building  and  the  stock  which  was  sold  at  the 
assignee  sale.  They  then  entered  upon  what 
proved  to  be  a  most  successful  business  venture, 
being  accorded  a  liberal  and  extensive  patron- 
age. The  partnership  between  them  was  con- 
tinued until  1882,  when  Mr.  Thome  sold  his 
interest  to  John  P.  Arens  and  Joseph  Bohr,  now 
deceased,  the  former  a  brother  of  our  subject. 
Subsequently  Joseph  Arens  purchased  the  in- 
terests of  these  two  gentlemen  and  became  sole 
owner  of  the  business.  In  1885,  however,  he 
entered  into  partnership  with  John  P.  Arens 
and  Joseph  Bohr  for  the  purpose  of  conduct- 
ing an  extensive  creamery  and  later  a  fine  cold 
storage  plant  was  added.  The  creamery  has 
been  one  of  Westphalia's  most  flourishing  in- 
stitutions and  has  been  of  benefit  to  the  locality 
as  well  as  to  the  proprietors,  furnishing  a 
market  for  the  farmers  of  the  surrounding  dis- 
trict. The  enterprise  is  now  conducted  by 
Anthony  P.  Arens,  a  son  of  Joseph  Arens.  The 
mercantile  business,  of  which  our  subject  was 
so  long  the  head,  is  also  conducted  under  the 
name  of  Joseph  Arens,  being  at  the  present  time 


owned  by  the  sons.  For  a  long  period  Mr. 
Arens  was  one  of  the  most  enterprising  and 
prominent  business  men  of  his  locality,  con- 
stantly extending  the  scope  of  his  labors  and 
successfully  managing  his  invested  interests,  so 
that  he  profited  in  all  of  his  undertakings.  He 
passed  away  May  6,  1894,  at  the  age  of  forty- 
five  years  but  the  community  still  benefits  by 
the  business  inaugurated  through  his  enterprise 
and  labor.  His  death  resulted  from  an  oper- 
ation performed  on  the  7th  of  June,  1893,  f°r 
the  removal  of  a  tumor  and  the  community 
mourned  the  loss  of  one  of  its  most  honored 
and  representative  citizens,  a  man  whom  to 
know  was  to  respect  and  esteem. 

Mr.  Arens  in  early  manhood  had  wedded 
Miss  Mary  Thome,  and  she  is  still  living.  She 
was  born  in  Westphalia  and  is  yet  associated 
with  her  sons  in  the  mercantile  business.  In 
their  family  were  seven  children:  Josephine, 
now  the  wife  of  Michael  Spitzley,  of  West- 
phalia township;  Augusta;  Anthony  P.,  who 
is  living  in  Westphalia ;  William  J. ;  Rosa, 
Anna  and  Joseph,  all  at  home. 

Anthony  P.  Arens,  spending  his  boyhood 
days  under  the  parental  roof,  early  became  as- 
sociated with  his  father  in  his  business  enter- 
prises and  is  now  conducting  the  Westphalia 
Creamery.  He  was  born  September  23,  1879, 
in  the  village  of  Westphalia,  was  educated  in 
the  parochial  school  and  afterward  in  Assump- 
tion College  at  Sandwich,  Ontario,  and  in  the 
Detroit  Business  University.  He  manifests  ex- 
cellent business  ability  and  capacity  in  the  con- 
trol of  his  extensive  interests  and  like  his  father 
has  made  a  creditable  name  for  himself  in  busi- 
ness circles.  He  was  married  October  14,  1902, 
to  Miss  Regina  Nau,  a  daughter  of  Constantine 
Nau,  of  Westphalia,  and  their  children  are 
Marion  and  Esther. 

William  J.  Arens,  another  son  of  Joseph 
Arens,  is  now  assisting  in  the  conduct  of  the 
business  interests  left  by  his  father.  He  was 
born  in  Westphalia,  July  7,  1881,  and  after  at- 
tending the  parochial  schools  continued  his  edu- 
cation in  Assumption  College  at  Sandwich  and 
in  the  Detroit  Business  University.  In  1898 
he  then  entered  his  father's  store  and  has  since 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


been  connected  with  the  conduct  of  the  busi- 
ness. 

In  the  death  of  Joseph  Arens  there  was  not 
a  man  in  Westphalia  but  felt  that  he  had  sus- 
tained a  personal  loss  because  he  had  been  a 
patron,  benefactor  and  friend  to  all.  He  was 
quiet  and  unassuming  by  nature  but  possessed 
those  qualities  which  never  fail  to  manifest 
themselves,  being  interwoven  with  the  daily  life 
and  conduct  of  the  individual.  He  was  ever 
ready  to  help  those  who  were  willing  to  help 
themselves  and  the  laboring  man  found  in  him 
a  true  friend.  He  desired  the  business  ad- 
vancement of  the  community  and  was  ever 
ready  to  encourage  others  or  give  to  them  ma- 
terial assistance  if  needed.  As  a  citizen  he  was 
progressive,  lending  his  support  to  any  worthy 
movement  or  plan  for  the  upbuilding  of  the 
community,  while  the  extensive  patronage  that 
his  house  received  testified  to  his  rare  talents  as 
a  man  of  business.  In  politics  he  was  a  demo- 
crat and  served  as  township  clerk  but  preferred 
to  leave  office  holding  to  others.  Of  St.  Mary's 
Catholic  church  he  was  a  devoted  communicant 
and  at  all  times  he  furthered  the  material,  in- 
tellectual, social  and  moral  welfare  of  his  com- 
munity. He  stood  as  a  strong  man,  strong  in 
his  honor  and  good  name  and  in  his  friendships 
and  his  devotion  to  his  family  was  one  of  the 
sterling  traits  of  his  character. 


WILBUR  W.  PECK. 

Wilbur  W.  Peck,  engaged  in  the  livery  busi- 
ness in  St.  Johns,  is  a  native  of  Streetsboro, 
Ohio,  born  February  n,  1856,  and  traces  his 
ancestry  back  to  the  band  of  Puritans  who  came 
to  America  on  the  Mayflower.  His  parents, 
Horace  and  Ann  (Rich)  Peck,  were  natives  of 
Connecticut  and  Ohio,  respectively.  The  father 
is  a  tailor  by  trade  and  in  1865  removed  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Allegan  county,  where  for 
a  time  he  engaged  in  farming.  Later  he  con- 
ducted a  boot  and  shoe  business  in  connection 
with  his  son,  R.  R.  Peck,  until  1876,  when  he 


took  up  his  abode  in  Grand  Traverse  county, 
where  he  joined  his  son,  A.  W.  Peck,  in  the  con- 
duct of  a  drug  store.  A  few  years  later,  how- 
ever, he  sold  out  there  and  removed  to  Walker- 
ville,  Michigan,  where  he  owned  and  conducted 
a  shoe  store  until  1900,  when  he  once  more  sold 
out  and  retired  from  active  business  life.  His 
wife  passed  away  about  twenty  years  ago.  In 
their  family  were  four  sons :  Horace  L.,  a  hard- 
ware salesman  living  in  Ionia,  Michigan; 
Romenzo  R.,  a  shoe  merchant  at  South  Bend, 
Indiana;  Wilbur  W. ;  and  Albert  W.,  of 
Traverse  City,  Michigan,  who  is  traveling  for 
the  Hazelton  Drug  Company,  of  Grand  Rapids, 
Michigan. 

Wilbur  W.  Peck  was  a  student  in  the  public 
schools  until  sixteen  years  of  age,  when,  enter- 
ing upon  his  business  career,  he  secured  a  posi- 
tion as  salesman  in  a  book  store,  clerking  for 
seventy-five  dollars  per  year  and  his  board.  He 
afterward  accepted  a  similar  position  in  a  gro- 
cery store  in  Allegan,  Michigan,  where  he  re- 
mained for  four  years  and  subsequently  was  a 
clerk  in  a  dry-goods  and  clothing  store,  hav- 
ing charge  of  the  dress  goods  department.  That 
work  was  followed  by  his  management  of  the 
clothing  store  of  George  B.  Kellogg  in  Allegan, 
Michigan,  of  which  he  had  charge  for  four 
years.  On  the  expiration  of  that  period  he 
entered  into  partnership  with  his  brother,  R.  R. 
Peck,  in  the  conduct  of  a  dry-goods  and  clothing 
store  at  South  Boardman,  Michigan.  After  two 
years  Wilbur  W.  Peck  purchased  his  brother's 
interest,  carrying  on  business  for  eight  years 
longer,  when  he  sold  out  and  located  at  Ionia, 
Michigan,  where  he  conducted  a  shoe  store  for 
two  years.  Again  disposing  of  his  mercantile 
interests  he  went  upon  the  road  as  a  traveling 
salesman  for  the  shoe  house  of  Phelps,  Dodge 
&  Palmer,  of  Chicago,  whom  he  represented  for 
two  years.  His  residence  in  St.  Johns  dates 
from  1897,  at  which  time  he  formed  a  partner- 
ship with  J.  T.  Webber  under  the  firm  name 
of  Webber  &  Peck,  clothing  merchants,  and 
when  that  relation  was  discontinued  Mr.  Peck 
gave  his  attention  to  the  real-estate  business, 
being  connected  for  a  brief  period  with  J.  C. 
Flynn.     He  then  engaged  in  the  conduct  of  a 


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livery  barn  of  which  he  is  still  proprietor,  buy- 
ing out  the  stable  of  B.  F.  Scofield  on  Higham 
street  west.  He  has  since  continued  the  busi- 
ness and  has  a  most  up-to-date  establishment 
with  all  modern  equipments,  including  a  fine 
line  of  rubber  tired  vehicles  and  a  large  num- 
ber of  good  horses.  His  desire  to  please  his 
patrons  combined  with  straightforward  busi- 
ness methods  have  secured  him  a  good  patron- 
age. 

Mr.  Peck  exercises  his  right  of  franchise  in 
support  of  the  men  and  measures  of  the  re- 
publican party  and  in  his  social  affiliations  is  a 
Knight  of  Pythias.  Pleasantly  situated  in  his 
domestic  relations,  he  was  married  on  the  10th 
of  September,  1878,  to  Miss  Luella  A.  Taylor, 
a  daughter  of  Benjamin  H.  and  Emaline  (Ter- 
rill)  Taylor,  of  Allegan,  Michigan.  Both  the 
Taylor  and  Terrill  families  were  originally 
from  New  York  and  Mrs.  Peck  is  a  native  of 
Elyria,  Ohio.  By  this  marriage  there  is  one 
living  child,  Hazel  L.,  while  the  son,  Benjamin 
Floyd,  died  in  1883,  at  the  age  of  three  years. 
Mr.  Peck  is  recognized  as  an  active  and  enter- 
prising business  man  and  his  success  is  attribut- 
able entirely  to  his  own  efforts. 


WILL  H.  BRUNSON. 

Will  H.  Brunson,  a  member  of  the  Clinton 
county  bar  now  serving  for  the  second  term 
as  postmaster  at  St.  Johns  and  a  recognized 
leader  in  local  political  circles,  is  numbered 
among  the  native  sons  of  Clinton  county,  his 
birth  having  occurred  in  Victor  on  the  8th  of 
March,  1858.  His  parents  were  William  and 
Mary  A.  (Pierce)  Brunson,  both  of  whom  were 
natives  of  East  Bloomfield,  New  York.  Com- 
ing to  Michigan  during  the  pioneer  epoch  in 
the  history  of  Clinton  county,  they  settled  in 
Victor  in  September,  1843,  before  the  city  of 
St.  Johns  was  established.  Taking  up  their 
abode  in  the  midst  of  a  heavily  wooded  district 
the  father  cleared  and  improved  a  tract  of  land. 
The  Indians  were  yet  numerous  in  this  part  of 
the  state  and  wolves  and  bears  were  killed  in  the 
9 


forest.  Deer  and  other  wild  game  could  be 
had  in  abundance  and  often  furnished  a  meal 
for  the  settlers  when  otherwise  the  larder  would 
have  been  of  meager  proportions.  Mr.  Brun- 
son performed  the  arduous  task  of  developing 
a  new  farm  and  reared  his  family  in  Victor. 
He  died  in  1893,  at  the  age  of  seventy-two 
years,  and  his  wife's  death  occurred  in  1891, 
when  she  was  seventy  years  of  age.  In  their 
family  were  five  children,  the  surviving  daugh- 
ter being  Sarah,  the  widow  of  Addison  Whee- 
lock,  of  New  York. 

Will  H.  Brunson,  the  youngest  member  of 
the  family,  was  a  public-school  student  in  St. 
Johns,  continuing  his  education  there  until  he 
had  mastered  the  branches  constituting  the  cur- 
riculum of  the  high-school  course.  Attracted  to 
the  profession  of  law  he  prepared  for  the  bar 
in  the  University  of  Michigan,  completing  the 
course  in  the  law  department  with  the  class  of 
1886.  He  paid  all  his  own  expenses  while  at 
college,  having  previously  earned  the  money 
for  that  purpose.  For  a  time  he  was  engaged 
in  teaching,  spending  four  years  in  the  schools 
of  St.  Johns  and  one  year  as  principal  of  the 
Dewitt  high  school.  Becoming  a  member  of 
the  Clinton  county  bar,  he  was  associated  with 
Judge  Daboll  under  the  firm  style  of  Daboll  & 
Brunson  for  six  years,  a  constantly  growing 
clientage  connecting  him  with  important  liti- 
gated interests.  He  was  for  ten  years,  from 
1892  until  1902,  city  attorney  for  St.  Johns, 
during  which  time  one  of  the  most  important 
cases  in  the  history  of  the  city  was  tried,  Mr. 
Brunson  representing  the  city  in  a  suit  against 
the  St.  Johns  water  works  for  damage  caused 
by  the  smoke  nuisance  created  by  the  water 
works  plant.  This  case  was  won  by  him  for 
the  city.  Following  the  dissolution  of  his  part- 
nership with  Judge  Daboll  Mr.  Brunson  was 
with  William  A.  Norton  as  a  member  of  the 
firm  of  Norton  &  Brunson  for  two  years  and 
since  that  time  has  been  alone  in  practice  here. 

Active  and  prominent  in  his  profession,  Mr. 
Brunson  is  perhaps  equally  well  known  because 
of  his  connection  and  influence  with  political 
interests.  In  1899  he  was  appointed  postmaster 
by  President  McKinley  and  by  re-appointment 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


of  President  Roosevelt  has  since  been  in  the 
office,  The  postal  system  and  postoffice  man- 
agement have  been  greatly  improved  under  his 
administration.  The  postoffice  building  has 
been  enlarged  through  an  extension  of  forty 
feet  and  a  vault  has  been  added,  while  there  has 
been  a  considerable  increase  in  the  number  of 
employes.  The  sales  of  the  office  in  1899 
amounted  to  eight  thousand  dollars  and  at  the 
present  time  have  reached  thirteen  thousand 
dollars.  Mr.  Brunson  has  been  the  promoter 
of  the  rural  delivery  system  for  this  locality  and 
his  services  in  the  office  which  he  is  now  filling 
are  greatly  appreciated  by  the  public,  who 
recognize  his  efficiency,  ability  and  the  value  of 
his  work.  He  has  been  active  in  campaigns 
since  1886,  has  been  secretary  of  the  repub- 
lican county  central  committee  and  has  served 
on  the  township,  city,  congressional  and  sena- 
torial committees,  being  now  a  member  of  the 
county  and  congressional  central  committees. 
He  is  well  fitted  for  leadership  and  has  done 
much  to  mold  public  thought  and  action,  his 
opinions  carrying  weight  in  the  councils  of  his 
party. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  1888,  Mr.  Brunson  was 
married  to  Miss  Elizabeth  Finch,  a  daughter 
of  Peter  and  Mary  Finch,  who  were  residents 
of  Greenbush  township,  Clinton  county,  and 
are  now  deceased,  her  father  having  died  when 
she  was  but  four  years  of  age.  They  have 
one  son,  Laurence  W.  Mr.  Brunson  belongs 
to  the  Masonic  and  Knights  of  Pythias  fra- 
ternities. He  is  a  man  of  fine  physique,  of 
generous  disposition  and  a  kindly  spirit  and 
ranks  high  in  the  regard  of  his  fellow  towns- 
men. 


DANIEL  PERKINS. 

Daniel  Perkins,  living  on  section  8,  Duplain 
township,  is  a  thrifty  and  prosperous  farmer 
whose  well  improved  tract  of  land  of  eighty- 
five  acres  indicates  his  careful  supervision.  His 
birth  occurred  in  Victor  township,  this  county, 
on  the  20th  of  June,  1857,  n*s  parents  being  J. 
Y.  and  Polly  (Le  Bar)  Perkins.     The  father 


was  born  in  Steuben  county,  New  York,  in 
1823,  was  reared  there  and  when  a  young  man 
came  to  Michigan  in  1844,  locating  in  Victor 
township,  Clinton  county,  among  its  pioneer 
settlers.  He  was  married  here  and  opened  up 
a  farm,  upon  which  he  reared  his  family  and 
spent  many  years.  His  death,  however,  occurred 
in  Laingsburg,  in  1903,  while  his  wife  passed 
away  in  1899.  To  them  were  born  five  chil- 
dren, four  sons  and  one  daughter,  all  of  whom 
are  living. 

Daniel  Perkins,  the  second  oldest,  was  reared 
upon  the  old  homestead  in  Victor  township, 
becoming  familiar  with  all  the  duties  and  labors 
that  fall  to  the  lot  of  the  agriculturist.  After 
attaining  his  majority  he  removed  to  the  farm 
upon  which  he  now  resides  and  which  at  that 
time  was  in  the  midst  of  a  dense  forest.  There 
were  no  roads  to  the  place  and  no  improvements 
had  been  made  but  he  at  once  began  to  cut 
down  the  trees  and  clear  away  the  brush  and 
in  the  course  of  time  prepared  the  land  for 
cultivation.  He  has  now  cleared  the  greater 
part  of  the  farm  and  indeed  has  a  valuable  and 
productive  property  in  the  midst  of  which  stands 
a  good  two-story  residence.  There  is  also  a 
barn,  windpump,  an  orchard  and  in  fact  all  of 
the  equipments  and  accessories  found  upon  a 
model  farm  of  the  twentieth  century.  The  soil 
is  productive  and  yields  good  crops  and  in  addi- 
tion to  the  cultivation  of  the  fields  Mr.  Perkins 
also  raises  good  stock. 

In  Ovid  township,  on  the  18th  of  May,  1880, 
Mr.  Perkins  was  married  to  Miss  Jenette  Beech, 
a  daughter  of  John  Beech,  one  of  the  first  set- 
tlers of  the  county,  represented  elsewhere  in  this 
work.  Mrs.  Perkins  was  born  in  White  Oak 
township,  Ingham  county,  but  was  reared  in 
Victor  township,  this  county.  Two  children 
have  been  born  of  this  union  who  are  yet  liv- 
ing: Mary,  the  wife  of  Alfred  E.  Jeffers,  of 
Greenbush  township,  by  whom  she  has  two  chil- 
dren, Donald  and  Doris,  twins;  and  Jesse,  who 
married  Irene  Angles  and  has  a  daughter, 
Blanche  Ruth,  and  is  living  on  the  home  farm, 
assisting  his  father  in  its  improvement.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Perkins  also  lost  a  daughter,  Nellie, 
who  died  in  infancy.     They  have  given  their 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  DANIEL  PERKINS. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


139 


children  good  educational  advantages  and  have 
also  started  them  well  on  the  journey  of  life. 

Mr.  Perkins  exercises  his  right  of  franchise 
in  support  of  the  men  and  measures  of  the  re- 
publican party  but  has  never  sought  or  desired 
office  for  himself.  He  is  a  member  of  the  local 
Grange,  and  his  son  belongs  to  the  Modern 
Woodmen  camp.  His  entire  life  has  been  de- 
voted to  agricultural  pursuits  and  for  forty- 
eight  years  he  has  been  a  resident  of  Clinton 
county,  so  that  he  is  largely  familiar  with  the 
history  of  its  development  and  improvement. 


SETH  MAGEE  COOK. 

Seth  Magee  Cook,  following  the  occupation 
of  farming  for  many  years  in  Clinton  county, 
so  that  his  present  rest  from  labor  is  well  earned 
and  richly  deserved,  is  now  living  retired  in 
Hewitt,  where  he  has  made  his  home  for  the 
past  twelve  years.  He  owns  a  farm  of  one 
hundred  and  twenty  acres  in  Watertown  town- 
ship and  dates  his  residence  in  the  state  from 
1844  and  in  Clinton  county  from  1855.  He 
was  bom  in  Steuben  county,  New  York,  Oc- 
tober 28,  1830,  and  came  of  English  lineage. 
His  paternal  grandfather,  Samuel  Cook,  was 
one  of  the  early  residents  of  the  Empire  state 
and  there  Anson  Cook,  the  father,  was  born  and 
reared.  After  reaching  adult  age  he  married 
Anna  Wheeler,  who  wras  born  in  New  Hamp- 
shire. In  order  to  provide  for  his  family  he 
followed  the  occupation  of  farming,  living  for 
some  years  in  Steuben  county  and  ultimately 
taking  up  his  abode  in  Monroe  county,  where 
he  resided  for  a  few  years.  In  1844  he  came 
to  Michigan,  settling  in  Hillsdale  county  upon 
the  farm  which  continued  to  be  his  place  of  resi- 
dence until  his  life's  labors  were  ended  in  death. 
His  wife  survived  him  for  only  a  few  years. 

Seth  M.  Cook  is  one  of  the  family  of  four 
sons  and  two  daughters,  all  of  whom  reached 
maturity.  His  brother  is  Emery  A.  Cook,  who 
is  living  retired  in  Litchfield.  His  sister,  Mary 
L.,  is  now  Mrs.  Tracy,  a  widow  living  in 
Quincy   township,    Branch   county,    Michigan. 


Seth  M.  Cook,  of  this  review,  was  reared  to 
manhood  in  Hillsdale  county,  where  he  arrived 
when  fourteen  years  of  age.  There  he  re- 
mained until  after  the  discovery  of  gold  in  Cali- 
fornia when,  with  the  hope  of  rapidly  realizing 
a  fortune  on  the  Pacific  coast,  he  went  to  the 
far  west  in  185 1,  crossing  the  plains  with 
teams.  The  journey  consumed  four  months  but 
at  last  the  travelers  were  gladdened  by  a  sight 
of  the  green  valleys  of  the  Golden  state.  While 
in  California  Mr.  Cook  engaged  in  a  search  for 
the  yellow  metal  and  spent  four  years  in  mining 
with  fair  success,  after  which  he  returned  to 
Michigan  by  way  of  the  Isthmus  of  Panama 
and  New  York  city,  arriving  at  his  home  in 
Hillsdale  county  in  1855.  Later  in  that  year 
he  came  to  Clinton  county,  where  he  purchased 
a  tract  of  wild  land  on  section  2,  Watertown 
township,  heavily  covered  with  timber.  He  at 
once  began  the  difficult  task  of  cutting  down 
the  trees  and  clearing  the  land  for  cultivation, 
and  his  persistent  energy  and  labors  at  length 
triumphed  over  the  difficulties  in  his  way  until 
he  had  opened  up  and  improved  a  valuable 
farm  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres.  He 
erected  on  this  a  good  residence,  substantial 
barns,  built  fences,  planted  fruit  trees  and  in 
fact  made  the  property  a  very  productive  and 
valuable  farm.  In  the  early  years  of  his  resi- 
dence here  he  taught  school  in  the  winter 
months  of  1855-56-57  in  Watertown. 

On  the  28th  of  December,  1857,  Mr.  Cook 
was  married  to  Miss  Emily  J.  Smith,  a  native 
of  New  York.  She  became  a  teacher  of  Michi- 
gan, successfully  following  the  profession  prior 
to  her  marriage.  Her  father,  William  Smith, 
was  likewise  born  in  the  Empire  state,  where 
he  was  reared  to  manhood  and  then  married 
Pamelia  Van  Ness,  also  a  native  of  New  York. 
About  1837  he  came  to  the  west,  settling  in 
Hillsdale  among  its  pioneer  residents.  The 
Indians  still  lived  in  that  part  of  the  state  and 
every  evidence  of  pioneer  life  was  to  be  seen. 
It  was  four  miles  to  the  nearest  neighbor  and 
the  entire  district  was  thickly  covered  with  tim- 
ber. Mr.  Smith,  however,  hewed  out  a  nice 
farm  in  the  midst  of  the  forest,  on  which  he 
reared  his  family  and  spent  his  remaining  days, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


his  death  there  occurring  about  1897,  when  he 
had  reached  the  advanced  age  of  eighty-nine 
years,  while  his  wife  survived  him  for  two 
years.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cook  have  become  the 
parents  of  a  daughter,  Julia,  who  is  now  the 
wife  of  George  C.  Higbee,  circuit  court  re- 
porter and  stenographer  at  Marquette,  Michi- 
gan. 

Politically  Mr.  Cook  is  a  stanch  republican 
where  national  issues  are  involved.  He  cast  his 
first  presidential  ballot  for  Franklin  Pierce  in 
1852  and  then,  becoming  deeply  interested  in 
the  issues  which  gave  rise  to  the  new  republican 
party,  he  supported  its  first  candidate,  John  C. 
Fremont,  in  1856.  In  local  affairs  he  has  been 
prominent  and  helpful,  has  served  as  school  in- 
spector for  several  years,  has  been  highway 
commissioner  and  has  been  a  delegate  to  the 
county  conventions  of  his  party.  He  holds 
membership  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church, 
of  which  he  is  one  of  the  trustees  and  class 
leader,  while  his  wife  is  a  member  of  the  Con- 
gregational church  and  both  are  earnest  Chris- 
tian people,  enjoying  in  high  measure  the  es- 
teem and  good  will  of  those  who  know  them. 
While  living  retired,  Mr.  Cook  raises  some 
garden  products,  keeping  his  place  in  excellent 
condition.  He  is  a  member  of  the  board  of 
review  and  is  a  citizen  of  worth,  who  for  a  half 
century  has  lived  in  Clinton  county  and  has 
guided  his  life  by  honorable  upright  principles. 


ROBERT  HYSLOP. 


Robert  Hyslop,  proprietor  of  the  Ovid  Roller 
Mills  and  thus  closely  identified  with  the  in- 
dustrial interests  of  the  county,  is  a  native  of 
Scotland,  born  on  the  17th  of  September,  1849. 
His  father,  Thomas  Hyslop,  formerly  a  resident 
of  Walkerton,  Ontario,  is  also  a  native  of  Scot- 
land and  when  his  son  Robert  was  five  years 
of  age  crossed  the  Atlantic  with  his  family  to 
Canada.  Robert  there  remained  until  eighteen 
years  of  age,  during  which  time  he  acquired 
only  a  limited  education.     He  then  made  his 


way  into  the  United  States  and  secured  em- 
ployment on  a  farm  in  Hillsdale  county,  Michi- 
gan. Later  he  worked  at  coopering  for  a  few 
years.  In  1878  he  entered  upon  an  apprentice- 
ship to  the  milling  business  at  South  Allen, 
Hillsdale  county,  and  in  1887  removed  to 
Ouincy,  Branch  county,  Michigan,  where  he 
built  a  mill  in  partnership  with  Felix  A.  Mc- 
Kenzie,  conducting  this  under  the  firm  style  of 
McKenzie  and  Hyslop.  The  partnership  was 
terminated  in  1894,  and  after  one  year  Mr.  Hy- 
slop came  to  Ovid  and  in  October,  1895,  here 
purchased  the  business  of  the  Farmer  Milling 
Company  near  Maple  river.  In  the  summer  of 
1899  he  built  a  new  mill  on  the  old  mill  lot  near 
the  Grand  Trunk  Railway.  The  main  struc- 
ture is  thirty-six  by  forty-eight  feet  and  three 
stories  in  height  and  there  is  a  ten-foot  base- 
ment, while  the  boiler  and  engine  room  is  thirty 
by  forty-two  feet  and  the  capacity  is  one  hun- 
dred barrels  every  twenty-four  hours.  The 
plant  is  fully  equipped  with  a  complete  roller 
process  and  the  sifter  system  of  bolting  flour 
is  used.  The  plant  is  operated  by  a  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty-five  horse  power  Corliss 
engine  and  the  output  of  the  mill  finds  a  ready 
sale  upon  the  market.  Mr.  Hyslop  is  also  pro- 
prietor of  an  elevator  and  is  engaged  in  the 
sale  of  coal,  wood,  cement  and  plaster.  He  thus 
has  varied  business  operations  and  is  one  of  the 
enterprising  and  representative  men  of  Ovid, 
his  carefully  conducted  interests  bringing  him 
a  gratifying  measure  of  prosperity. 

In  his  social  relations  Mr.  Hyslop  is  an  Odd 
Fellow  and  is  also  connected  writh  the  Ancient 
Order  of  United  Workmen.  His  political  al- 
legiance is  given  to  the  democracy  and  for  six 
years  he  served  as  alderman.  He  has  always 
taken  an  active  and  helpful  part  in  advancing 
the  welfare  and  progress  of  his  community  but 
his  time  is  largely  concentrated  upon  the  con- 
duct of  his  business  interests,  in  which  he  is 
meeting  with  creditable  success. 

In  1874  Robert  Hyslop  was  united  in  mar- 
riage to  Miss  Elizabeth  Ann  Hicks,  a  daughter 
of  Thomas  Hicks,  of  Allen,  Hillsdale  county, 
Michigan.  They  now  have  a  son  and  daughter, 
Tom  H.  and  Bessie  E.,  the  latter  the  wife  of 


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Harold  B.  Martin,  of  Ovid,  who  is  assisting  in 
the  mill  and  elevator  business  here. 

Tom  H.  Hyslop,  the  son,  now  actively  as- 
sociated with  his  father  in  business,  was  born 
September  5,  1876,  and  for  ten  years,  or  since 
1895,  has  been  connected  with  the  operation 
of  the  mill  and  the  conduct  of  the  other  busi- 
ness interests  which  claim  the  time  and  atten- 
tion of  his  father.  The  son  was  married  on  the 
28th  of  August,  1898,  to  Miss  Emma  Brown, 
a  daughter  of  Fred  L.  and  Sarah  Brown,  of 
Ovid,  and  they  have  two  interesting  children, 
Robert  Elliot  and  Marian  Louise.  The  father 
and  son  now  occupy  enviable  positions  in  busi- 
ues  circles  and  their  enterprise  and  energy  con- 
tribute in  substantial  measure  to  the  commercial 
prosperity  of  Ovid  as  well  as  to  their  individual 
success. 


L.  G.  BATES. 


L.  G.  Bates,  carrying  on  general  merchandis- 
ing in  Elsie,  is  one  of  the  prominent  business 
men  of  Clinton  county,  having  for  a  third  of 
a  century  been  closely  associated  with  com- 
mercial interests  in  this  place.  He  was  born  in 
Litchfield,  Ohio,  October  13,  1847,  his  parents 
being  George  W.  and  Emily  (Robinson)  Bates. 
The  father,  a  native  of  Norwich,  Connecticut, 
Avas  born  in  1823  and  was  a  son  of  George  W. 
Bates,  Sr.,  one  of  the  early  residents  of  the 
Charter  Oak  state,  who  in  1828  removed  with 
his  family  to  Ohio,  settling  in  Medina  county. 
Later  the  family  home  was  established  in  Sum- 
mit county,  where  George  W.  Bates,  Jr.,  was 
reared  to  manhood.  He  was  left  an  orphan  at 
the  early  age  of  nine  years  and  was  largely  de- 
pendent upon  his  own  resources  from  that  time 
forward.  In  Summit  county  he  married  Miss 
Emily  Robinson,  a  native  of  Ohio,  and  with  the 
added  impetus  of  providing  for  his  home  he 
began  business  as  a  harnessmaker,  which  pur- 
suit he  followed  for  a  number  of  years.  Two 
children  were  added  to  the  household  before 
the  parents  left  Ohio.  In  1855  they  came  to 
Michigan,  settling  first  in  Fairfield,  Shiawassee 


county.  The  father  rented  land  and  was  thus 
engaged  in  farming  for  eight  years  or  until 
1863,  when  he  came  to  Clinton  county  and  es- 
tablished a  harness  business  in  Elsie,  conducting 
the  enterprise  for  five  years.  His  death  oc- 
curred here  in  1901,  while  his  wife  passed  away 
in  1899.  In  their  family  were  four  children, 
of  whom  L.  G.  is  the  eldest.  The  others  are: 
Lizzie,  now  the  wife  of  Charles  Clement,  of 
Clinton  county;  Charles  H.,  who  is  a  farmer 
living  at  Victory ville,  Michigan;  and  Leon, 
who  resides  in  Shepherd,  Michigan. 

L.  G.  Bates  was  a  youth  of  eight  years  when 
brought  by  his  parents  to  Michigan  and  his  edu- 
cation was  acquired  in  the  public  schools  of  this 
state.  He  has,  however,  largely  supplemented 
his  early  school  training  by  lessons  gained  in 
the  school  of  experience.  He  remained  with 
his  father  until  about  eighteen  years  of  age, 
after  which  he  went  to  Ohio,  where  he  learned 
the  harnessmaking  trade,  serving  an  apprentice- 
ship of  three  years.  Subsequently  he  worked 
with  his  father  in  Elsie  and  afterward  formed 
a  business  connection  with  Joseph  P.  Hasty. 
They  opened  a  stock  of  general  merchandise  in 
Elsie,  but  subsequently  Mr.  Bates  purchased  his 
partner's  interest  and  has  since  continued  in  the 
business  alone.  He  has  erected  a  large  two- 
story  brick  block,  one  of  the  best  business 
houses  of  the  town  and  carries  a  large  and  well 
selected  line  of  general  merchandise,  having 
built  up  an  extensive  trade  which  makes  his 
venture  a  profitable  and  gratifying  one. 

On  the  28th  of  May,  1873,  Mr.  Bates  was 
united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Amanda  Sickles,  a 
native  of  Clinton  county,  born  and  reared  in 
Elsie.  Her  father,  Job  D.  Sickles,  was  one  of 
the  early  residents  of  this  part  of  the  state  and 
served  as  a  member  of  the  county  board,  being 
supervisor  for  a  number  of  years.  In  the  fam- 
ily of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bates  are  five  children,  four 
sons  and  a  daughter:  Clare  G.,  who  is  now  a 
practicing  dentist  of  Durand,  Michigan;  Clyde 
D.,  who  is  married  and  is  engaged  in  business 
with  his  father;  Bion  L.,  who  is  a  graduate  of 
Ann  Arbor  University  and  is  practicing 
dentistry  in  Elsie;  Harold,  at  home;  and  Ruth 
E.,  who  completes  the  family. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Mr.  Bates  takes  an  active  interest  in  public 
affairs  and  is  the  champion  of  many  progressive 
measures  that  have  been  of  marked  value  to  his 
community.  He  is  a  lifelong  republican,  his  first 
presidential  vote  being  cast  for  General  U.  S. 
Grant  in  1868,  since  which  time  he  has  supported 
each  nominee  of  the  party  at  the  head  of  its 
ticket.  In  local  political  circles  he  has  been  in- 
fluential and  was  elected  and  served  for  two 
or  three  years  as  township  clerk  and  later  by 
re-election  was  continued  in  the  office  of  super- 
visor for  fifteen  years,  acting  as  chairman  of 
the  board  for  one  term.  He  was  also  chairman 
of  a  number  of  important  committees  and  did 
effective  and  able  service  for  his  county  in  the 
discharge  of  his  duties.  He  has  also  been  presi- 
dent of  the  village  board  for  two  terms  and  has 
frequently  been  a  delegate  to  county  and  state 
conventions.  Fraternally  he  is  a  Master  Mason, 
has  filled  various  offices  in  the  lodge  and  is  now 
a  past  master.  Both  he  and  his  wife  are  con- 
nected with  the  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  Mr. 
Bates  has  been  a  resident  of  the  state  since 
1855,  covering  a  half  century,  and  is  therefore 
largely  familiar  with  the  history  of  Clinton 
county.  He  entered  upon  his  business  career  to 
find  that  in  the  work-a-day  world  there  is  ample 
opportunity  for  the  exercise  of  one's  talents  and 
energies.  As  the  years  have  gone  by  he  has 
carefully  directed  his  labors  with  due  regard  to 
the  rights  of  his  fellowmen  as  well  as  to  his 
individual  success  and  in  the  management  of 
his  mercantile  interests  he  has  made  his  place  of 
business  of  value  to  the  local  public  as  well  as 
a  gratifying  source  of  revenue. 


CHARLES  S.  WILLIAMS. 

Among  the  prominent  and  representative 
citizens  of  Clinton  county  is  numbered  Charles 
S.  Williams,  living  on  section  1,  Bingham 
township.  He  was  born  in  Northampton 
county,  Pennsylvania,  March  19,  1832,  and  is 
a  son  of  John  and  Mary  (Le  Van)  Williams, 
both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania. 
The   paternal   grandfather,    Charles    Williams, 


was  a  native  of  New  Hampshire  and  a  descend- 
ant of  Roger  Williams,  of  Rhode  Island.  In 
early  life  he  learned  the  carpenter's  trade  and 
removed  to  Pennsylvania  in  which  state  he  mar- 
ried a  Miss  Gernard,  a  descendant  of  an  old 
Holland  family,  of  which  a  genealogical  rec- 
ord has  recently  been  prepared  and  published  in 
book  form.  At  one  time  they  were  visited  by 
his  two  brothers  from  Spafford,  New  Hamp- 
shire. The  grandfather  took  an  active  part  in 
the  progress  and  upbuilding  of  the  church  and 
his  life  was  exemplary  in  its  fidelity  to  honor- 
able principles.  He  departed  this  life  in  i'8i8, 
and  his  wife  passed  away  in  1861. 

John  Williams,  the  father  of  our  subject, 
was  born  in  1809  and  in  the  Keystone  state 
learned  and  followed  the  blacksmith's  trade  for 
seven  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  he  re- 
moved to  a  farm,  whereon  he  resided  until 
1 84 1.  In  that  year  he  accompanied  his  mother 
to  Niagara  county,  New  York,  the  journey  be- 
ing made  in  covered  wagons  across  the  Alle- 
ghany mountains,  it  requiring  twelve  days  to 
complete  the  trip.  John  Williams  then  entered 
land  in  Cambria  township  and  followed  farm- 
ing until  his  death,  which  occurred  December 
31,  1883.  He  had  long  survived  his  wife, 
who  died  in  1846,  leaving  two  sons  and  a 
daughter,  namely:  Charles  S.;  Theodore  C, 
who  is  living  in  Cambria  township;  and  Mrs. 
Mary  Lucinda  Newman,  who  resides  upon  the 
old  homestead  farm  in  that  township. 

Charles  S.  Williams  began  his  education  in 
the  public  schools  of  Pekin,  Niagara  county, 
New  York,  and  afterward  attended  the  Wil- 
son Collegiate  Institute,  where  he  made  rapid 
progress  in  his  work,  displaying  special  apti- 
tude in  his  studies.  He  was  graduated  in  1855 
and  during  his  college  days  was  president  of 
the  Alpha  Phi  Society  and  was  classed  as  one 
of  the  strongest  debaters  of  the  school,  for  which 
reason  he  was  selected  to  give  an  address  at  the 
Philadelphia  meeting.  In  the  spring  of  1856 
he  entered  the  law  office  of  Wood  &  Murry, 
at  Lockport,  New  York,  where  he  did  clerical 
work  and  the  same  time  took  up  the  study  of 
Blackstone,  Kent's  Commentaries  and  the  his- 
tory of  England  by  Hume  and  Macaulay,  but 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


145 


the  following  spring  his  uncle,  Charles  C.  Wil- 
liams, died  and  he  went  to  live  with  his  grand- 
mother, remaining  with  her  until  her  death  in 
1 86 1.  He  never  resumed  his  law  studies. 
When  nineteen  years  of  age  he  began  teaching, 
following  the  profession  for  ten  years.  After 
his  marriage  he  operated  his  father-in-law's 
farm  on  the  shares,  being  connected  with  its 
improvement  until  1864,  when  in  the  fall  he 
answered  to  the  call  to  arms,  enlisting  in  the 
Eighteenth  New  York  Battery  known  as  the 
Black  Horse  Battery  under  Captain  Mack. 
Soon  afterward  this  command  was  ordered  to 
Baton  Rouge,  Louisiana,  where  they  remained 
until  February  of  the  following  year  and  then 
marched  to  Naby  Cave  at  the  mouth  of  Mobile 
bay.  On  the  17th  of  the  following  month  they 
began  a  long  and  hard  march  to  Spanish  Fort, 
where  they  joined  General  Canby's  division 
and  for  fourteen  days  were  under  constant  fire 
almost  day  and  night,  at  the  end  of  which  time 
the  enemy  evacuated  the  fort.  The  Union 
troops  then  marched  to  Fort  Blakely  but  Mr. 
William's  command  was  too  late  to  participate 
in  the  engagement  there  but  afterward  did  skir- 
mish duty  at  Mobile  City,  following  the  enemy 
to  Mcintosh  Bluff,  where  the  Confederates  had 
a  naval  station.  There  they  captured  the  fleet 
of  five  gunboats,  which  were  used  to  transport 
the  Union  troops  back  to  Mobile  City,  where 
they  were  greeted  with  the  joyful  news  that  the 
war  was  ended. 

Mr.  Williams  received  an  honorable  dis- 
charge in  that  city  and  started  at  once  for 
home,  taking  a  boat  at  New  Orleans  and  land- 
ing at  New  York  in  July.  After  spending  a 
week  with  friends  in  that  city  he  reached  his 
destination  on  the  31st  of  July  and  thus  was 
closed  a  chapter  of  hardships  and  trials  in  his 
life  history  which  included  many  important 
battles  and  that  left  him  impaired  in  health  so 
that  the  government  now  grants  him  a  pension 
in  recognition  of  his  services. 

Having  decided  to  come  to  Michigan,  Mr. 
Williams  made  his  way  to  Clinton  county  and 
purchased  the  Deacon  Harrison  farm  of  forty 
acres  on  section  1,  Bingham  township,  where  a 
small  clearing  had  been  made.     From  Elsie  he 


hauled  the  lumber  used  in  building  the  first 
house  and  afterward  he  returned  to  New  York 
and  brought  his  wife  and  family  to  the  new 
home  which  he  had  prepared.  Here  he  has 
since  lived,  making  improvements  on  the  farm, 
to  which  he  added  until  he  became  owner  of 
tw*)  hundred  and  ten  acres,  forty  acres  of*  which 
he  has  deeded  to  his  son  William  A. 

On  the  24th  of  September,  i860,  Mr.  Wil- 
liams was  married  to  Miss  Mary  Jane  Kelsey, 
the  eldest  daughter  of  William  Kelsey,  one  of 
the  oldest  merchants  of  Niagara  county,  New 
York.  They  had  three  children,  of  whom  Wil- 
liam A.  is  now  living.  The  others  were  E. 
Everett,  who  died  in  1867;  and  one  child  that 
died  in  infancy,  while  the  wife  and  mother 
passed  away  in  November,  1904.  William  A. 
Williams  has  now  assumed  the  responsibility 
of  carrying  on  the  work  of  the  entire  farm  and 
although  he  maintains  his  residence  in  St.  Johns 
he  spends  most  of  his  time  with  his  father  since 
his  mother's  death.  He  married  Miss  Mary  L. 
Lapham,  a  daughter  of  Nathaniel  Lapham,  one 
of  the  early  settlers  of  the  township  and  there 
is  one  child  of  this  marriage,  Gertrude. 

Mrs.  C.  S.  Williams  was  born  in  Niagara 
county,  New  York,  August  1,  1837,  and  was 
always  a  cheerful  companion  and  helpmate  to 
her  husband.  It  was  with  a  brave  heart  and 
courageous  purpose  that  she  undertook  the  care 
of  her  family  while  her  young  husband  was  in 
the  army  and  she  suffered  much  during  a  severe 
and  cold  winter,  wood  being  very  scarce,  and 
but  for  the  kindly  offices  of  a  friendly  Indian 
would  have  been  without  a  fire,  the  red  man 
bringing  her  a  load  of  hickory  chips,  for  which 
he  would  take  no  pay.  Provisions  were  also 
high  but  she  bravely  kept  up  the  struggle  until 
her  husband's  return  from  the  army.  She  was 
a  great  lover  of  music,  in  which  she  had  been 
educated,  and  she  also  had  the  strongest  at- 
tachment for  all  that  is  beautiful  in  nature, 
spending  many  hours  amid  both  wild  and  culti- 
vated flowers.  Her  tastes  were  of  the  most  re- 
fined and  intelligent  character  and  her  influence 
was  beneficial  in  religious  and  social  circles  in 
her  immediate  neighborhood.  She  was  always 
deeply    interested    in    the    young    and    their 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


pleasures  and  she  had  no  truer  or  warmer 
friends  than  among  the  young  people.  On  the 
4th  of  July,  1904,  she  became  ill  and  lingered 
until  Thanksgiving  day,  when  she  passed  from 
this  life,  her  death  being  the  occasion  of  deep 
and  wide-spread  regret. 

Mr.  Williams  is  a  stanch  democrat  and  has 
never  failed  to  cast  a  ballot  at  a  presidential 
election  since  giving  his  first  vote  to  Franklin 
Pierce.  He  was  a  loyal  soldier  of  the  Civil 
war,  has  ever  been  a  supporter  of  progressive 
public  measures,  and  is  widely  known  and 
honored  in  the  county  where  he  has  now  made 
his  home  for  almost  forty  years. 


THEODORE  H.  COX. 

Theodore  H.  Cox,  whose  home  on  section 
13,  Essex  township,  is  a  well  improved  farm  of 
one  hundred  acres,  was  born  in  Lenawee  county, 
Michigan,  October  29,  1839,  his  birthplace 
being  his  father's  farm  in  the  township  of 
Ridgeway.  He  is  a  son  of  John  Cox,  a  na- 
tive of  Pennsylvania,  born  and  reared  in  Bucks 
county,  where  he  was  also  married  to  Miss 
Jane  Thompson,  likewise  a  native  of  that  state. 
He  came  to  the  west  with  his  family  about 
1830  and  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Lena- 
wee county,  where  he  carried  on  general  agri- 
cultural pursuits.  He  aided  in  the  early  de- 
velopment and  success  of  the  state  and  witnessed 
its  progress  as  it  emerged  from  pioneer  condi- 
tions and  took  on  all  of  the  evidences  of  an 
advanced  civilization.  There  he  reared  his 
family  and  spent  his  remaining  days,  his  chil- 
dren being  nine  in  number,  of  whom  five  are 
yet  living. 

Theodore  H.  Cox  spent  the  greater  part  of 
his  youth  in  Lenawee  county.  He  is  largely 
a  self-made  man  who  has  continually  broad- 
ened his  knowledge  through  reading  and  in- 
vestigation. He  remained  with  his  father  until 
he  had  attained  his  majority  and  assisted  him 
in  the  operation  of  the  home  farm.  His  entire 
life  has  been  devoted  to  agricultural  pursuits 
and  his  judgment  is  sound  on  all  matters  con- 


nected with  the  tilling  of  the  soil  and  the  matter 
of  stock. 

In  December,  1866,  in  Lenawee  county,  Mr. 
Cox  was  united  in  marriage  to   Miss   Sarah 
Freer,  a  native  of  that  county,  where  her  girl- 
hood days  were  passed.  Her  father,  J.  C.  Freer, 
was   likewise  a  native  of   Michigan.      In   the 
autumn  prior  to  his  marriage  Mr.  Cox  visited 
Clinton  county  and  purchased  eighty  acres  of 
land  in  the  midst  of  the  forest.     The  following 
spring  he  took  up  his  abode  thereon  and  began 
clearing  and  cultivating  the  fields.     Having  cut 
down  the  trees  he  placed  the  land  under  the 
plow  and  in  due  course  of  time  garnered  rich 
harvests,  which  were  indicative  of  the  care  and 
labor  he  bestowed  upon  the  fields.     The  land 
is  now  clear  of  stumps,  is  well  fenced  and  in 
fact  constitutes  a  highly  cultivated  farm.     To 
his  original  purchase  he  added  twenty  acres  so 
that  he  now  has  a  good  farm  of  one  hundred 
acres.     For  twenty-six  years  he  lived  in  a  log 
house  but  now  owns  and  occupies  a  large  brick 
residence,  which  is  one  of  the  best  farm  houses 
in  this  part  of  the  county.     He  has  also  built 
a   commodious   and   substantial   barn,    has   put 
up  a   windpump,  has  planted  a  good  orchard 
and  has  added  other  improvements.     There  are 
no  weeds  growing  along  the  wayside  or  in  the 
fields   and   there   is   a   notable   absence   of   the 
Canada  thistle.     The  farm  is  indeed  neat  and 
thrifty  in  appearance  and  everything  about  the 
place   is   indicative   of  the  careful   supervision 
of  a  careful  and  progressive  owner.     He  care- 
fully tills  the  soil  and  also  raises  sheep,   and 
both   branches   of  his  business   are   proving  a 
good  source  of  income.     He  takes  great  pride 
in   keeping   the    farm   in    good   condition,    the 
fence  corners  and  roadsides  being  free  of  weeds, 
while  the  fields  promise  golden  harvests  and  the 
stock  shows  his  care. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cox  have  been  born 
seven  children :  Alzina,  now  the  wife  of  Burton 
McNaughton;  Jennie,  the  wife  of  Adelbert 
Blackney;  Lewis,  a  farmer  of  Essex;  Frank 
and  Ed,  twins,  who  are  married  and  follow 
farming  in  Essex  township;  Hattie,  the  wife 
of  Frank  Snyder,  of  Owosso;  and  Mrs.  Nina 
Ryan,  living  in  Ovid. 


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When  age  conferred  upon  Mr.  Cox  the  right 
of  franchise  he  proudly  cast  his  first  presidential 
vote  for  Abraham  Lincoln  in  i860  and  has 
never  failed  to  support  each  presidential  candi- 
date of  the  party  since  that  time.  He  has  never 
sought  or  desired  office,  preferring  to  give  his 
undivided  attention  to  his  business  affairs,  and 
he  has  worked  hard  and  persistently  as  the  years 
have  gone  by  but  his  labors  have  been  crowned 
with  success. 


JAMES  MONTAGUE. 

James  Montague,  deceased,  who  in  his  busi- 
ness and  private  life  won  the  respect  and  con- 
fidence of  his  fellowmen  and  became  known  as 
a  representative  citizen  of  Clinton  county,  was 
born  in  Middlesex,  Canada,  March  30,  1847, 
his  parents  being  William  and  Mary  Elizabeth 
(St.  Clair)  Montague.  The  mother  was  a 
native  of  Canada  and  represented  families  of 
English  lineage.  William  Montague,  however, 
was  from  Maine. 

When  seventeen  years  of  age  James  Mon- 
tague came  to  Clinton  county  and  settled  in 
the  village  of  Ovid,  where  he  followed  the 
blacksmith's  trade  until  twenty-six  years  of 
age.  He  then  married  and  located  on  section 
24,  Olive  township,  near  the  town  line  between 
Olive  and  Victor,  having  there  eighty  acres  of 
land.  He  also  had  eighty  acres  of  unimproved 
land  on  section  7,  Victor  township.  Only  ten 
acres  of  his  home  farm  had  been  cleared  when 
he  took  possession  of  the  place.  He  remained 
on  the  farm  for  about  three  years,  during  which 
time  he  cleared  fifty  acres.  He  then  sold  the 
property  and  on  the  8th  of  March,  1877,  re- 
moved to  Sciota  township,  Shiawassee  county, 
where  he  remained  until  March  14,  1878,  when 
he  sold  that  property  and  came  to  the  farm 
on  section  8,  Victor  township,  Clinton  county, 
on  which  his  widow  now  resides.  Here  he  se- 
cured one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  of  land 
which  was  partially  cleared  and  he  made  the 
farm  his  home  throughout  his  remaining  days. 
He  also  added  a  tract  of  eighty  acres  so  that 
at  the  time  of  his  death  his  realty  possessions 


were  represented  by  a  valuable  farm  property 
of  two  hundred  acres.  He  built  numerous  out- 
buildings upon  his  place  and  added  all  modern 
equipments  and  accessories,  carrying  forward 
his  farm  work  along  progressive  lines  that  re- 
sulted in  the  acquirement  of  a  handsome  com- 
petence. He  was  very  careful  and  painstaking 
in  all  his  business  affairs  and  in  his  public  duties 
as  well. 

On  the  8th  of  March,  1873,  Mr!  Montague 
was  married  to  Miss  Harriet  Parker,  a  daugh- 
ter of  John  and  Sarah  (Cronkite)  Parker,  the 
former  a  native  of  New  Jersey  and  the  latter 
of  New  York.     They  came  in  1837  to  Michi- 
gan, settling  in  Laingsburg.    This  was  the  year 
in  which  the  state  was  admitted  to  the  Union. 
The   father  spent  his  remaining  days  upon  a 
farm  in  that  locality,  passing  away  in  1863,  at 
the  age  of  fifty-eight  years.     His  wife  departed 
this  life  in  190 t,  at  the  age  of  eighty-six  years. 
In  their  family  were  thirteen  children,  of  whom 
seven  are  yet  living.    Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Mon- 
tague were  born  six  children:  James  Wesley, 
who  was  married,  February  19,  1902,  to  Delia 
E.   Shumaker,  by  whom  he  has  two  children, 
Blanche  Mourea  and  Evora  Irene,  and  they  are 
now    living    on    section    9,    Victor    township; 
Henry  N.,  who  was  married,  March  12,  1901, 
to  Lizzie  Eiseman  and  resides  upon  the  home- 
stead  farm;   Rubie,   the  wife  of  Daniel   Shu- 
maker,   of   Olive   township;    Fonda   Ethel,    at 
home;  and  Sarah  Cressy  and  John  C,  twins, 
at  home.     At  the  wedding  of  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Shumaker,  January  26,   1905,  the  guests  were 
served  with  strawberries  that  had  been  canned 
almost  twenty-six  years  and  were  pronounced 
delicious.     It  was  at  the  request  of  her  father 
that  the  berries  were  saved  for  that  occasion  and 
although  he  did  not  live  to  be  present  his  wishes 
were  carried  out. 

Mr.  Montague  was  a  stanch  republican  in 
politics  and  at  one  time  served  as  treasurer  of 
his  township.  He  was  also  United  States  juror 
in  Detroit  for  two  weeks  in  September,  1899. 
He  was  always  loyal  to  the  trust  reposed  in 
him  whether  of  a  public  or  private  nature  and 
he  lived  an  upright,  honorable  life  that  won  him 
the  respect  and  confidence  of  his  fellowmen.   He 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


passed  away  March  21,  1900,  after  an  illness 
of  five  days,  respected  by  all  who  knew  him, 
and  his  loss  was  deeply  regretted  by  many 
friends  as  well  as  his  immediate  family. 

Since  her  husband's  death  Mrs.  Montague 
has  erected  her  present  residence  and  also  the 
barns  upon  the  place  and  has  bought  eighty  acres 
of  land  additional  on  section  9,  Victor  town- 
ship. She  also  bought  eighty-two  acres  on  sec- 
tion 10,  Olive  township,  for  her  daughter 
Rubie.  She  has  superior  business  qualifications 
as  is  shown  in  the  management  of  her  valuable 
farming  property  and  at  the  same  time  she  has 
the  social  qualities  which  have  endeared  her  to 
a  large  circle  of  friends,  making  her  a  welcome 
visitor  in  many  of  the  best  homes  of  the  county. 


JAMES  J.  WARREN. 

James  J.  Warren,  living  in  Greenbush  town- 
ship, has  been  a  resident  of  Michigan  since 
1856  and  of  Clinton  county  since  1859.  His 
birth  occurred  in  Orleans  county,  New  York, 
August  6,  1839,  his  parents  being  Seth  and 
Catherine  (Johnston)  Warren.  The  maternal 
grandfather  was  in  the  commissary  department 
during  the  Revolutionary  war  and  a  butcher 
by  trade,  following  that  pursuit  in  western  New 
York.  He  continued  a  resident  of  the  Em- 
pire state  until  his  death.  The  father  was  a 
native  of  New  York  and  in  1856  removed  west- 
ward to  Owosso  township,  Shiawassee  county, 
Michigan,  where  he  purchased  a  partially 
cleared  farm  and  thereon  spent  his  remaining 
days.  His  wife  was  twice  married  and  as  Mrs 
Catherine  Hall  became  the  mother  of  two  chil- 
dren, both  of  whom  are  deceased,  William  Hall 
having  died  in  Bancroft,  his  remains  being  in- 
terred in  Owosso,  while  Mrs.  Jane  Munger  died 
in  Tennessee.  The  children  of  the  second  mar- 
riage, two  daughters  and  one  son,  are:  Mrs. 
George  R.  Warren,  of  Shiawassee  county; 
James  J.;  and  Caroline,  who  died  in  Orleans 
county,  New  York,  at  the  age  of  eleven  years. 
Mrs.  Warren  survived  her  husband  for  some 
time. 


James  J.  Warren  was  educated  in  the  district 
schools  of  New  York  and  with  his  parents  came 
to  Shiawassee  county  in  1856.  On  the  death  of 
his  father  he  took  charge  of  the  home  farm, 
which  he  operated  for  three  years,  and  then  re- 
moved to  Clinton  county,  buying  forty  acres  of 
land  on  section  19,  Greenbush  township,  only 
five  acres  of  which  was  cleared.  While  im- 
proving this  he  purchased  another  forty  acres 
adjoining.  This  was  partially  improved  and 
later  he  bought  twenty  acres  on  section  18. 
The  last  mentioned  tract  remained  as  a  part 
of  his  farm  until  1902,  when  he  sold  it  to  Frank 
Bishop  and  purchased  forty  acres  south  of  the 
farm  on  section  19  and  forty  acres  on  section 
20.  This  is  a  well  improved  farm  of  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty  acres  equipped  with  good 
buildings  and  well  kept  fences.  He  erected  his 
residence  in  1875  and  his  barn  in  1869.  He  has 
been  successful  in  his  farming  interests,  work- 
ing diligently  and  persistently  year  after  year 
until  his  labors  have  been  crowned  with  a 
marked  measure  of  prosperity. 

Mr.  Warren  was  married  on  the  1st  of 
January,  1862,  to  Miss  Sophia  Elizabeth  War- 
ren, a  daughter  of  Henry  and  Harriet  (Ridz- 
bridger)  Warren,  both  of  whom  were  natives 
of  England.  Though  of  the  same  name  the 
two  families  were  not  related,  the  parents  of 
Mrs.  Warren  being  natives  of  Charwood,  near 
London,  England,  where  her  birth  occurred.  In 
1850,  she  came  with  her  parents  to  America 
and  her  father  followed  farming  near  Roches- 
ter, New  York,  up  to  the  time  of  his  death, 
which  occurred  in  1862.  His  wife  survived 
him  for  only  a  few  weeks.  In  their  family  were 
eleven  children,  of  whom  eight  are  yet  living. 
Those  who  still  survive  are  as  follows :  George 
R.,  of  Bennington,  Shiawassee  county,  who 
married  a  sister  of  James  J.  Warren  of  this  re- 
view; William,  of  Yuba  county,  California; 
Mrs.  Eliza  Berger,  of  New  York;  Sophia 
Elizabeth ;  Henry,  who  is  in  the  west ;  Thomas, 
a  resident  of  St.  Louis,  Michigan;  Mrs.  Anna 
Talcott,  of  Chicago;  and  Mrs.  Mary  Buffing- 
ton,  of  New  York.  The  deceased  members  of 
the  family  are:  Sarah,  who  died  in  infancy; 
Alfred,  who  died  in  Batavia,  New  York;  and 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  J.  J.  WARREN  AND  GRANDCHILDREN. 


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Stephen,  whose  death  occurred  in  Howard  City, 
Michigan.  Four  brothers  of  this  family  were 
soldiers  of  the  Civil  war.  Alfred  and  Stephen 
enlisted  in  the  New  York  Regiment  of  In- 
fantry, the  former  as  a  commissioned  officer  and 
the  latter  as  a  substitute.  Although  Alfred 
Warren  escaped  injury  his  health  was  so  badly 
impaired  as  to  finally  cause  his  death  on  the 
4th  of  October,  1898.  Stephen  Warren  was 
seriously  wounded  in  the  second  volley  fired 
in  the  battle  of  the  Wilderness,  a  bullet  strik- 
ing him  in  the  upper  jaw,  carrying  away  half 
of  the  jaw  and  part  of  his  teeth.  Although  he 
was  not  disfigured  in  appearance  this  wound 
caused  his  death.  After  many  years  of  suffer- 
ing he  answered  the  last  bugle  call  in  1885, 
leaving  a  widow  and  one  son,  Bernard  S.,  who 
is  making  rapid  progress  in  the  business  world, 
being  now  secretary  of  one  of  the  large  furni- 
ture companies  of  Grand  Rapids.  Henry  and 
Thomas  Warren,  who  were  also  soldiers  of  the 
Civil  war,  escaped  serious  injury.  Henry  en- 
listed in  the  First  Michigan  Cavalry  from  Ovid 
and  was  not  wounded,  while  Thomas,  who  en- 
listed in  a  New  York  regiment  of  infantry,  was 
struck  by  a  bullet  in  the  foot  while  on  picket 
duty.  He  was  first  drafted  for  service  and 
afterward  returned  home  ill  and  the  second 
time  he  went  to  the  front  as  a  substitute.  All 
four  of  the  brothers  served  until  the  close  of 
the  war. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  James  J.  Warren  have  an 
adopted  daughter,  Lottie  A.,  their  niece,  being 
the  daughter  of  Henry  and  Florence  Warren. 
She  is  the  wife  of  Walter  Eames,  of  Owosso, 
and  they  had  three  children,  of  whom  two  are 
living:  Florence  A.,  who  always  spends  her 
vacations  with  her  grandfather  and  grand- 
mother Warren;  and  Charles  J.,  of  Owosso. 
The  deceased  child,  Edna  K.,  was  a  twin  sister 
of  Florence  and  died  December  9,  1901,  her 
remains  being  laid  to  rest  in  the  family  vault 
in  the  Maple  Grove  cemetery  of  Ovid. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Warren  are  prominent  and 
well  known  people  of  Greenbush  township,  en- 
joying in  unqualified  measure  the  esteem  and 
friendship  of  those  with  whom  they  have  been 
associated.  In  politics  a  republican,  he  was 
10 


elected  justice  of  the  peace  in  189 1,  filling  the 
office  until  1903.  Always  interested  in  the 
cause  of  public  education,  he  has  done  effective 
service  in  behalf  of  the  school  board  of  district 
No.  8  through  twenty-one  consecutive  years. 
He  is  a  member  of  St.  Johns  lodge,  No.  105, 
A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  and  he  and  his  wife  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in 
which  he  is  serving  as  steward. 


NELSON  McFARREN. 

Nelson  McFarren,  living  on  section  10,  Bath 
township,  was  born  on  a  farm  in  Washtenaw 
county,  Michigan,  May  25,  1852,  and  is  a  son 
of  John  McFarren,  a  native  of  New  York  and 
a  brother  of  Clarence  McFarren,  whose  history 
appears  on  another  page  of  this  work.  When 
a  youth  of  fifteen  years  Nelson  McFarren  came 
to  this  county  and  assisted  his  father  in  clearing 
and  opening  up  a  farm,  thus  developing  the 
homestead  place  which  in  course  of  time  be- 
came one  of  the  best  farming  properties  of  the 
community.  On  attaining  his  majority,  how- 
ever, he  left  home  and  started  out  in  life  for 
himself,  soon  after  purchasing  forty  acres  of 
land  on  which  he  now  resides.  With  character- 
istic energy  he  began  to  clear  and  fence  this 
and  to  make  the  place  a  productive  tract  that 
would  crown  his  labors  with  success.  His 
hope  of  winning  a  competence  was  realized  and 
in  the  course  of  years  his  financial  resources 
justified  the  purchase  of  another  forty-acre 
tract.  This  he  also  cleared,  grubbed  out  the 
stumps  and  cut  down  the  trees  and  now  there  is 
a  good  orchard  where  once  stood  forest  trees, 
and  other  portions  of  the  farm  are  covered  by 
fields  of  waving  grain.  He  has  built  a  big 
basement  barn  and  added  other  buildings  and 
his  farm  is  indeed  a  well  improved  property. 

In  March,  1883,  occurred  the  marriage  of 
Nelson  McFarren  and  Miss  Ada  Saxton,  a  na- 
tive of  Oakland  county,  Michigan,  and  a  daugh- 
ter of  J.  B.  Saxton,  who  was  born  in  New 
York  and  came  to  this  state  at  an  early  age, 
establishing  his  home  in  Clinton  county.  In  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY 


family  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  McFarren  are  three 
children:  Floyd  and  Harry,  who  aid  in  carry- 
ing on  the  home  farm ;  and  Esther,  who  is  like- 
wise with  her  parents. 

Mr.  McFarren  has  been  called  to  some  local 
offices,  having  been  elected  and  served  as  high- 
way commissioner  but  his  ambitions  and  aspira- 
tions are  not  in  this  line.  In  his  political  views 
he  is  independent,  supporting  the  candidate 
rather  than  the  party.  His  attention  is  given 
to  his  farm  work  and  he  has  made  a  specialty 
of  the  breeding  and  raising  of  mules  and  has 
raised  and  sold  some  very  valuable  animals. 
His  entire  life  has  been  passed  in  Michigan,  for 
he  was  reared  in  Clinton  county  and  has  ever 
been  known  as  a  man  of  unfaltering  industry, 
whose  farm  shows  the  labor  and  care  that  he 
has  bestowed  upon  it.  Fair  and  just  in  all  his 
dealings  and  reliable  in  his  business  trans- 
actions, his  genuine  worth  is  widely  acknowl- 
edged by  those  who  know  him. 


J.  D.  SLEIGHT. 


J.  D.  Sleight,  one  of  the  public-spirited  men 
of  Victor  township,  is  found  as  a  co-operant 
factor  in  many  measures  that  have  been  of  sub- 
stantial benefit  to  this  section  of  the  state  and 
at  the  same  time  he  has  capably  and  successfully 
conducted  private  business  interests,  owning 
a  well  improved  farm  of  two  hundred  acres  on 
section  20,  Victor  township.  He  has  lived  in 
Clinton  county  since  1866  and  his  acquaintance 
is  wide  and  favorable.  His  birth  occurred  in 
Dutchess  county,  New  York,  at  Hyde  Park, 
near  Poughkeepsie,  on  the  13th  of  December, 
1844,  his  parents  being  Frederick  and  Eliza- 
beth (Paulding)  Sleight,  who  were  also  natives 
of  Dutchess  county.  The  father  followed  farm- 
ing there  for  a  number  of  years,  then  attracted 
by  the  opportunities  of  the  growing  west  made 
his  way  to  Michigan  in  1867,  joining  his  son 
in  Clinton  county. 

J.  D.  Sleight  had  been  reared  in  the  county 
of  his  nativity  and  was  educated  in  the  com- 
mon and  select  schools  there,  having  the  ad- 
vantage   of    scholastic    training    at    Pleasant 


Plains.  He  was  a  young  man  of  seventeen 
years  when,  his  patriotic  spirit  being  aroused, 
he  offered  his  aid  to  the  government,  enlisting 
on  the  nth  of  October,  1862,  as  a  member  of 
Company  H,  One  Hundred  and  Fiftieth  New 
York  Infantry.  He  joined  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac  and  participated  in  the  hotly  con- 
tested battle  of  Gettysburg,  where  the  two 
armies  retreated  and  advanced  in  their  strug- 
gle to  gain  possession  of  the  field  until  the  dead 
were  strewn  so  thickly  over  the  ground  that  it 
was  impossible  to  walk  without  stepping  upon 
a  dead  or  wounded  soldier.  Later  he  was  trans- 
ferred to  General  Sherman's  command  at  Chat- 
tanooga and  was  in  the  battle  of  Missionary 
Ridge  and  on  the  Atlanta  campaign,  where  he 
was  under  fire  every  day  for  more  than  a  month. 
He  assisted  in  the  capture  of  Jonesboro  and  of 
Atlanta  and  went  with  Sherman  on  the  cele- 
brated march  to  the  sea,  participating  in  the 
fight  at  Goldsboro,  North  Carolina,  after  which 
he  marched  on  to  Richmond  and  later  to  Wash- 
ington, D.  C,  there  participating  in  the  grand 
military  pageant  which  was  a  fitting  celebration 
to  the  close  of  the  war,  the  victorious  troops 
marching  in  armed  array  through  the  streets 
of  the  capital  city  amid  the  cheers  of  thousands 
of  rejoicing  citizens.  Mr.  Sleight  was  honor- 
ably discharged  in  Washington  and  was  mus- 
tered out  at  Poughkeepsie,  New  York,  on  the 
12th  of  July,  1865.  He  then  returned  home 
and  attended  school  until  the  following  spring, 
when  he  came  west  to  Michigan  and  during  the 
summer  months  worked  at  farm  labor  and  in 
the  winter  seasons  in  the  lumber  woods,  being 
thus  engaged  up  to  the  time  of  his  marriage. 

On  the  1 8th  of  December,  1870,  Mr.  Sleight 
was  married,  in  Victor  township,  to  Miss 
Louisa  Read,  who  was  born  in  that  town- 
ship, and  was  the  daughter  of  Ainsworth 
Read,  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  the 
county.  Her  father  had  come  to  Michigan  from 
Massachusetts  at  a  very  early  day  in  the  de- 
velopment of  this  part  of  the  state.  Following 
his  marriage  Mr.  Sleight  settled  upon  the  farm 
where  he  now  resides,  beginning  there  with  one 
hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  which  he  cleared 
and  on  which  he  built  a  log  house,  making  it 
his  home  for  a  few  years.     He  then  bought 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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forty  acres  more  where  he  resides  and  he  now 
has  a  valuable  farm  of  two  hundred  acres.  The 
little  log  cabin  has  been  replaced  by  a  model 
two-story  frame  residence,  built  in  atractive 
style  of  architecture  and  forming  one  of  the 
pleasing  features  of  the  landscape.  There  are 
also  two  good  barns  and  outbuildings  which 
furnish  ample  shelter  for  farm  machinery,  for 
the  stock  and  grain.  An  orchard  of  his  plant- 
ing is  now  yielding  its  fruits  in  season  and  the 
farm  is  altogether  a  well  improved  place. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sleight  have  three  children: 
Raymond  D.,  who  is  engaged  in  the  practice 
of  medicine  at  Battle  Creek,  Michigan;  Pro- 
fessor E.  Roscow  Sleight,  a  man  of  superior 
education,  now  connected  with  the  military 
academy  at  Orchard  Lake,  where  he  is  acting 
as  professor  of  mathematics,  and  who  is  mar- 
ried and  has  one  child,  Norman;  and  Roland 
W.,  who  is  at  home.  They  lost  their  first  born, 
Ainsworth,  who  died  at  the  age  of  six  years. 

Politically  Mr.  Sleight  is  a  republican,  un- 
faltering in  support  of  the  party  since  he  cast 
his  first  presidential  ballot  for  U.  S.  Grant.  He 
has  been  elected  and  served  as  highway  com- 
missioner and  has  also  been  township  treasurer, 
while  for  the  seventh  term  he  is  serving  as  su- 
pervisor, being  now  a  member  of  the  county 
board.  He  has  been  made  a  member  of  various 
important  committees  and  for  one  year  served 
as  chairman  of  the  board.  He  has  been  sent  as 
a  delegate  to  various  conventions  of  his  party 
and  has  acted  as  chairman  of  the  township  cen- 
tral committee.  He  and  his  wife  were  reared 
in  the  faith  of  the  United  Brethren  church,  of 
which  they  are  now  members  and  Mr.  Sleight 
belongs  to  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic  and 
to  the  Royal  Arcanum.  He  has  been  a  resident 
of  Clinton  county  for  thirty-nine  years  and  is 
thoroughly  identified  with  its  interests,  its  de- 
velopment and  its  prosperity.  He  has  helped  to 
make  the  county  what  it  is  today  and  is  num- 
bered among  its  best  citizens.  He  also  has  rea- 
son to  be  proud  of  a  creditable  soldier  record 
for  he  fought  valiantly  for  the  old  flag  and  the 
preservation  of  the  Union.  He  has  likewise 
been  active  and  influential  in  political  circles  and 
his  good  business  ability,  tried  integrity  and  de- 


votion to  the  general  welfare  have  made  him 
worthy  of  the  esteem  and  confidence  of  all 
with  whom  he  has  been  associated. 


JEREMIAH  B.  HOWE. 

Jeremiah  B.  Howe,  living  on  section  21, 
Olive  township,  is  a  well  known  and  prosperous 
farmer  of  the  community  and  has  an  excellent 
tract  of  eighty  acres  that  annually  returns  to 
him  good  crops.  His  birth  occurred  in  Lansing, 
Michigan,  on  the  13th  of  August,  1854.  His 
father,  Philander  Howe,  was  born  in  Tompkins 
county,  New  York,  in  18 15,  and  was  a  son 
of  Aaron  Howe,  likewise  a  native  of  that  state 
and  of  English  descent.  The  great-grandfather, 
Captain  Howe,  was  a  soldier  of  the  Revolution- 
ary war  and  served  as  one  of  General  Washing- 
ton's body  guards.  Philander  Howe  was  reared 
in  the  Empire  state  and  in  early  life  was  a  lieu- 
tenant in  the  militia.  He  married  Miss  Mary 
Hyde,  a  native  of  New  York,  and  on  leaving 
the  east  they  removed  to  Ohio,  where  they  re- 
sided for  two  or  three  years.  In  1854  they 
came  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Lansing,  and  in 
the  fall  of  the  same  year  took  up  their  abode 
on  section  16,  Olive  township,  Clinton  county, 
upon  a  tract  of  raw  land,  which  Mr.  Howe 
cleared  and  fenced.  He  built  thereon  a  com- 
fortable home  and  made  the  farm  a  productive 
and  valuable  property.  He  later  traded  this  for 
a  farm  on  section  20  and  bought  more  land, 
owning  eighty-seven  acres,  on  which  he  placed 
good  buildings  and  many  modern  improvements. 
There  he  reared  his  family  and  spent  his  re- 
maining days,  his  death  occurring  on  the  5th 
of  March,  1903.  His  first  wife  died  in  1857 
and  later  he  married  again. 

Jeremiah  B.  Howe  was  the  youngest  in  a 
family  of  six  children  of  the  father's  first  mar- 
riage. He  was  reared  in  his  native  township^ 
and  pursued  his  education  in  the  public  schools, 
continuing  with  his  father  until  thirty  years 
of  age,  when  he  helped  carry  on  the  farm.  He 
was  married  here,  October  3,  1883,  to  Miss 
Nellie  Williams,  who  was  born  and  reared  here 


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PAST   AND    PRESENT   OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


and  was  formerly  a  teacher.  She  died  Decem- 
ber 23,  1895,  leaving  two  daughters,  Elma  and 
Gertrude,  who  are  at  home  with  their  father. 
On  the  22d  of  February,  1897,  Mr.  Howe  was 
again  married,  his  second  union  being  with 
Elvira  E.  Stampfly,  a  native  of  this  locality  and 
a  daughter  of  Benedict  Stampfly,  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  the  county.  There  is  one  son 
by  the  second  marriage,  Myron  S.  Howe. 

After  his  first  marriage  Jeremiah  B.  Howe 
bought  and  settled  upon  the  farm  where  he  now 
resides  and  in  the  spring  of  1885  began  its 
cultivation  and  improvement.  Later  he  built 
a  good  house  and  a  big  bank  barn,  also  built 
a  granary  and  other  necessary  outbuildings  for 
the  shelter  of  grain  and  stock,  planted  an  or- 
chard, fenced  his  buildings  and  in  addition  to 
the  tilling  of  the  soil  he  also  raised  good  grades 
of  stock.  Politically  he  is  a  stanch  republican. 
He  was  elected  and  served  for  three  years  as 
township  clerk,  was  supervisor  for  three  years, 
has  also  been  on  the  school  board  and  was 
treasurer  of  the  district  for  sixteen  years.  Mrs. 
Howe  is  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church,  while  Mr.  Howe  is  a  member  of  the 
Masonic  fraternity.  He  is  now  classed  with ' 
the  prosperous  farmers  of  the  community  and 
has  a  wide  and  favorable  acquaintance  in  this 
part  of  the  state,  where  he  has  long  resided. 


MARCUS  L.  TAFT. 


Since  Marcus  L.  Taft  became  a  resident  of 
Clinton  county  changes  have  been  wrought  that 
are  truly  marvelous,  the  wild  forest  region  hav- 
ing been  converted  into  highly  cultivated  farms 
and  attractive  homes,  the  entire  county  becom- 
ing peopled  with  a  contented,  enlightened  and 
prosperous  population.  Mr.  Taft  was  born  in 
Broome  county,  New  York,  October  15,  1839, 
*his  parents  being  Israel  W.  and  Lucy  Wood- 
ruff (Barnes)  Taft.  They  were  natives  of 
Broome  county  and  came  to  Michigan  in  the 
year  1856.  The  year  before  the  father  had 
visited  Clinton  county  and  had  located  his  farm 
in  Ovid  township,  adjoining  on  the  west  the 


one  now  owned  and  occupied  by  his  son,  Marcus 
L.  Taft,  on  section  28.  He  took  up  two  hun- 
dred acres  of  land,  sixty  acres  of  which  had 
been  cleared.  Israel  Taft  resided  there  for  a 
number  of  #  years  and  then  removed  to  Port 
Huron,  where  he  became  general  agent  for  a 
stage  business.  Finally,  however,  he  returned 
to  his  farm,  where  his  death  occurred  when  he 
was  fifty-eight  years  of  age.  His  wife  had  died 
when  their  son  Marcus  was  but  twelve  years  of 
age.  Israel  Taft  had  filled  a  number  of  local 
offices  and  was  an  enterprising  citizen  whose 
worth  was  widely  acknowledged.  By  his  first 
marriage  he  had  four  children:  Marcus  L. ; 
Frank,  who  is  living  in  Bingham  township, 
Clinton  county;  and  Lewis  and  Henry,  both 
deceased.  For  his  second  wife  the  father  mar- 
ried Mrs.  Mary  Sprong,  of  Albany,  New  York, 
and  they  became  the  parents  of  seven  children, 
of  whom  three  are  yet  living:  Alice,  the  wife 
of  George  Daniels,  of  Ovid;  Edna,  the  wife 
of  Frank  Smith,  of  Ovid  township;  and  Steven 
A.,  who  is  living  on  the  old  homestead  farm  in 
Ovid  township.  Those  who  have  passed  away 
are:  Louise,  who  became  the  wife  of  Frank 
Williams  and  died  in  California ;  and  three  who 
died  in  infancy. 

Marcus  L.  Taft  is  indebted  to  the  district 
schools  for  the  early  educational  privileges  he 
enjoyed  and  afterward  studied  in  a  select  school 
in  Marathon,  New  York.  Subsequently  he 
began  farming  on  his  own  account,  operating 
his  father's  land  on  the  shares  for  two  years, 
after  which  he  bought  forty  acres  of  land,  con- 
stituting a  part  of  his  present  farm.  Subse- 
quently he  purchased  two  hundred  acres  more 
in  small  lots.  Nearly  all  of  this  was  wild  land 
but  he  has  transformed  it  into  a  very  valuable 
and  productive  farm  of  two  hundred  and  forty 
acres.  His  first  home  was  a  log  cabin  but  he 
has  since  erected  modern  buildings,  his  im- 
provements being  among  the  finest  in  the  town- 
ship. Everything  upon  his  farm  is  up-to-date 
and  he  is  thorough  and  systematic  in  his 
methods,  displaying  earnest  thought  and  con- 
sideration of  the  questions  involved  as  well  as 
care,  energy  and  enterprise  in  carrying  on  the 
work   whereby   he  has   attained   a   gratifying 


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MRS.  M.  L.  TAFT. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


159 


measure  of  success.  Difficulties  and  obstacles 
have  barred  his  path  and  he  has  suffered  greatly 
from  ill  health  but  by  means  of  proper  man- 
agement and  unremitting  diligence  he  has 
gained  prosperity  in  the  face  of  much  discour- 
agement. He  recalls  with  pleasure  many  of 
the  scenes  now  referred  to  as  the  "happy  days 
in  the  old  log  house."  Marvelous  changes  have 
since  been  wrought  as  man  has  reclaimed  this 
region  for  the  purposes  of  civilization  and  has 
set  the  stamp  of  improvement  and  progress 
here.  He  can  remember  the  time  when  the 
road  to  his  present  farm  was  laid  with  logs  as 
far  north  as  Shepardsville.  Many  of  the  roads 
of  the  neighborhood  were  not  yet  opened  and 
the  most  far-sighted  could  scarcely  have 
dreamed  of  the  great  improvement  which  was 
soon  to  take  place. 

On  the  8th  of  March,  1863,  occurred  the 
marriage  of  Mr.  Taft  and  Miss  Isabella  Moore, 
a  daughter  of  Mathew  and  Isabella  (Lowry) 
Moore,  both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Ireland. 
The  family  came  to  Michigan  when  Mrs.  Taft 
was  eleven  years  of  age,  settling  in  Victor  town- 
ship. The  mother  had  previously  died  in  New 
York  state  and  the  father  died  in  the  Civil  war 
while  serving  with  the  Twenty-seventh  Michi- 
gan Infantry  as  a  member  of  Company  K,  his 
death  being  the  result  of  wounds  sustained  in 
battle.  Mrs.  Taft  has  a  brother,  Joseph  Moore. 
Unto  our  subject  and  his  wife  have  been  born 
a  daughter  and  son:  Matie  A.,  the  wife  of 
Amon  Putnam,  of  Ovid;  and  Israel  W.,  who 
is  living  upon  the  home  farm  in  Ovid  town- 

shiP'  T  , 

Where  national  issues  are  involved  Mr.  Taft 

votes  with  the  democratic  party  but  at  local 
elections  casts  an  independent  ballot.  He  is  re- 
garded as  one  of  the  substantial  men  of  his 
township,  owing  his  success  entirely  to  his  own 
efforts.  He  possesses  the  strong  determination 
that  enables  him  to  carry  forward  to  successful 
completion  whatever  he  undertakes  and  where 
others  would  have  become  discouraged  and  dis- 
heartened he  has  pressed  forward  until  his  la- 
bors have  been  crowned  with  prosperity.  More- 
over he  is  entitled  to  mention  in  this,  volume 
as  a  pioneer  resident  of  the  county  and  he  re- 


lates in  interesting  manner  many  episodes  of 
the  early  days.  He  was  one  of  the  organizers 
and  first  directors  of  the  State  Bank  of  Ovid 
and  has  been  its  vice  president  for  three  years. 


SAMUEL  M.  POST,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Samuel  M.  Post,  physician  and  surgeon 
of  St.  Johns  making  a  specialty  of  rheumatism 
in  his  practice,  is  a  native  of  Sherbrook,  Berry 
county,  Canada,  torn  on  the  4*  of  March, 
1848,  his  parents  being  Stilman  W.  and  Sarah 
(Osgood)  Post,  the  former  a  native  of  Ver- 
mont and  the  latter  of  Canada.  The  Post  fam- 
ily was  an  old  one  in  the  Green  Mountain  state. 
The  great-grandfather,  William  Post,  was  a 
native  of  Georgia,  Vermont,  and  died  at  the 
very  venerable  age  of  ninety-four  years.  He 
had  read  the  Bible  completely  through  eight 
times.     His  son,  Moses  Post,  was  born  May 

17.  T773' and  marriecl  Lucy  Warner>  who  was 

born  November  21,   1780.     He  died  April  19, 
1854,  while  his  wife  passed  away  January  7, 
1856.     They  were  the  parents  of  nine  children, 
of  whom  Stilman  W.  Post  was  the  seventh  in 
order  of  birth.    The  Osgood  family  came  from 
Canada,  where  Samuel  Osgood,  grandfather  of 
Dr.  Post,  lived  and  died.     In  1849  Stilman  W. 
Post  removed  with  his  family  from  Canada  to 
the  state  of  New  York  and  in  1854  became  a 
resident  of  Hillsdale,  Michigan,  where  he  en- 
gaged in  farming.     Both  he  and  his  wife  spent 
their  last  days  there,  his  death  occurring  Sep- 
tember  11,    1895,  when  he  was  about  eighty- 
one  years  of  age,  for  the  date  of  his  birth  was 
October    29,    18 14.      His   wife   was    forty-six 
years  of  age  at  the  time  of  her  death,  which 
occurred   in    1872.      They   had   been   married 
March   8,    1847.     After  losing  his  first  wife 
Mr.  Post  was  again  married  on  the  7th  of  July, 
1875,   when   Eliza  Clay,  of  Hillsdale,   Michi- 
gan, became  his  wife.     By  his  first  marriage 
Stilman  Post  had-  eight  children,  those  yet  liv- 
ing being  Samuel  M. ;  Stilman  A;  Sarah,  the 
wife  of  Agnus  Beers,  of  Hillsdale;  and  Lucy, 
the  wife  of  Eugene  Hewitt,  also  of  Hillsdale, 
Michigan. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Dr.   Post,   after   spending  five   years  of  his 
early   childhood   in   the   Empire  state,    accom- 
panied' his  parents  on  their  removal  to  Hills- 
dale, Michigan,  when  he  was  about  six  years 
of  age  and  there  he  acquired  his  early  educa- 
tion in  the  public  schools,  afterward  continu- 
ing his  studies   in  Hillsdale  College.      Subse- 
quently he  engaged  in  teaching  for  five  terms 
in   the   district  schools   near  Hillsdale   and   in 
1866  he  entered   upon  the  study  of  medicine 
under  the  direction  of  Dr.  Robert  E,  Evart,  of 
Hillsdale,  supplementing  his  preliminary  read- 
ing by  a  course  in  the  University  of  Michigan, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  with  the  class  of 
1 87 1.     He  began  practice  in  Eureka,  Clinton 
county,  where  he  remained  for  twenty-five  years 
or  until  the  spring  of  1896,  when  he  came  to 
St.  Johns  and  has  since  maintained  his  office 
in  this  city  with  a  constantly  growing  patron- 
age.    He  was  for  four  years  a  member  of  the 
pension  board  and  was  health  officer  of  Green- 
bush    township    for    sixteen   years    during   his 
residence  there.     He  makes  a  specialty  of  the 
treatment  of  rheumatism  and  has  effected  some 
remarkable   cures   in   recent  years   even   when 
the  inflammatory  stage  has  been  reached.     He 
has  been  a  close  and  earnest  student  of  his  pro- 
fession, its  progress  and  advancement,  and  has 
kept  in  touch  with  the  onward  march  of  the 
medical    fraternity,    continually   promoting  his 
efficiency  through  study  and  investigation. 

At  the  early  age  of  fourteen  years  Dr.  Post 
developed  a  strong  desire  to  become  a  taxi- 
dermist and  during  the  past  years  has  collected 
and  preserved  some  rare  specimens  which  are 
splendid  examples  of  his  handiwork  and  ef- 
ficiency in  that  art.  He  is  a  democrat  in  his 
political  faith  but  without  aspiration  for  office. 
Fraternally  he  is  connected  with  the  Independ- 
ent Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  the  Knights  of  the 
Maccabees  and  the  Loyal  Americans. 

Dr.  Post  was  married  at  Hillsdale,  May  6, 
1873,  t0  Miss  A-  May  Marsh,  who  died  in 
October  of  the  same  year,  and  on  the  3d  of 
January,  1875,  ne  married  Sarah  E.  Barring- 
ton,  of  Eureka,  Clinton  county,  a  daughter  of 
Addison  Hulse.  The  children  of  this  marriage 
are  Sarah,  the  wife  of  Austin  Crowner,  of  St. 


Johns;  and  Samuel  A.,  who  is  engaged  in  the 
shoe  business  in  this  city.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Crowner  have  two  children,  Leona  and  Samuel, 
while  Pauline  and  Athelia  are  the  children  of 
Samuel  A.  Post.  Domestic  in  his  tastes,  the 
interest  of  Dr.  Post  has  centered  in  his  family, 
while  his  zeal  in  his  profession,  supplemented 
by  a  conscientious  regard  for  the  obligations 
and  responsibilities  devolving  upon  him,  have 
made  him  a  capable  physician  and  one  whose 
success  has  come  as  the  legitimate  effect  of  his 
skill  and  thorough  understanding  of  the  prin- 
ciples of  medicine. 


CHARLES  T.  ANDRUS. 

Charles  T.  Andrus,  a  pioneer  settler  of  Clin- 
ton county  and  an  honored  veteran  of  the  Civil 
war,  was  born  in  Cazenovia,  Madison  county, 
New  York,  July  16,  1837.  His  parents  were 
John  H.  and  Delocia  (Webber)  Andrus,  the 
former  a  native  of  Connecticut  and  the  latter 
of  Pennsylvania.  They  came  to  Michigan  in 
the  year  1839,  locating  on  section  7,  Watertown 
township,  Clinton  county,  in  the  midst  of  an 
almost  unbroken  wilderness.  There  were  no 
roads,  the  land  was  unclaimed  and  the  forests 
uncut.  The  father  took  an  active  and  helpful 
part  in  local  affairs  up  to  the  time  of  his  death, 
which  occurred  in  i860,  when  he  was  in  the 
sixty-sixth  year  of  his  age.  His  wife  had 
passed  away  two  years  before.  They  were  the 
parents  of  eight  children:  John  W.,  now  living 
in  Kent  county,  Michigan;  Cornelia,  the  wife 
of  George  Saunders,  of  the  same  county; 
Georgia,  the  wife  of  Austin  Cowan,  of  Kent 
county;  Caroline,  the  wife  of  John  Bissell,  of 
Grand  Ledge,  Michigan;  Gerard,  of  Water- 
town  township;  Dennis,  who  died  in  i860;  and 
Frances,  who  became  the  wife  of  John  Hughes 
and  died  in  Kent  county  in  1867. 

Charles  T.  Andrus,  the  oldest  member  of 
the  family,  received  but  limited  educational 
privileges  but  mastered  the  elementary  branches 
of  learning  in  a  log  schoolhouse  and  through 
experience,    reading   and   observation   in   later 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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years  has  greatly  broadened  his  knowledge.  He 
remained  upon  the  old  home  farm  until  the 
death  of  his  parents  when  his  brother  John  took 
charge  of  the  home  place,  and  Charles  started 
out  in  life  on  his  own  account.  On  the  4th 
of  August,  1 86 1,  he  responded  to  his  country's 
call  for  aid,  enlisting  in  Company  A,  Twenty- 
third  Michigan  Infantry  under  Captain  Spauld- 
ing.  He  was  mustered  in  at  East  Saginaw, 
Michigan,  September  12,  1862,  and  was  honor- 
ably discharged  July  20,  1865.  He  entered  the 
army  with  the  rank  of  corporal  and  was  pro- 
moted to  sergeant  in  1863.  He  participated  in 
various  important  engagements,  twenty-seven 
in  all,  including  the  battle  of  Franklin,  Ten- 
nessee, the  siege  of  Knoxville,  the  battle  of 
Resaca,  the  Atlanta  campaign  and  the  Morgan 
raid.     He  was  under  General   Sherman  from 

1863,  marching  with  him  as  far  as  Rome, 
Georgia,  in  October,  1864,  and  then  rejoined 
his  command  at  Goldsboro,  Georgia,  on  the  21st 
of  March,   1865.     On  the  30th  of  November, 

1864,  he  was  engaged  in  the  battle  with  Hood's 
forces  at  Franklin,  Tennessee,  where  the  rebels 
charged  thirteen  times  and  afterward  fell  back 
to  Nashville  on  the  1st  of  December,  remain- 
ing there  until  the  15th  and  16th  of  the  same 
month,  when  they  again  attacked  Hood,  driving 
him  back  to  Franklin  over  the  same  ground 
where  the  battle  had  previously  occurred.  They 
paroled  twenty-seven  hundred  prisoners  and  the 
opposition  lost  more  generals  in  that  engage- 
ment than  in  any  other  battle  of  the  Civil  war. 
Mr.  Andrus  with  his  regiment  afterward  fell 
back  to  Columbia  and  on  the  1st  of  January, 

1865,  marched  from  that  place  to  Clifton  on 
the  Tennessee  river.  On  the  16th  of  January 
the  troops  took  boat  there  and  went  up  the  Ohio 
river  to  Cincinnati  and  afterward  to  Washing- 
ton by  rail,  remaining  at  Camp  Stoneman  until 
the  13th  of  February.  They  then  crossed  the 
Potomac  river  to  Alexandria  and  afterward 
took  boat  for  Fort  Fisher  at  the  mouth  of  Cape 
Fear  river.  Subsequently  they  marched  up 
the  river  to  Wilmington,  Delaware,  and  on  the 
22d  of  February  captured  that  city,  remaining 
there  until  the  6th  of  March.  The  next  move 
of  the  army  was  to  Kingston  and  afterward  to 


Goldsboro,  forming  the  junction  with  Sher- 
man's army  and  proceeding  then  to  the  coast. 
Later  Mr.  Andrus  was  on  picket  duty  and  was 
at  Raleigh,  North  Carolina,  at  the  time  of 
General  Lee's  surrender.  The  regiment  re- 
mained at  Raleigh  for  a  time  but  afterward 
went  to  Greensboro  and  then  on  to  Salsbury, 
North  Carolina,  continuing  there  until  June  28, 
1865,  when  the  members  of  the  regiment  were 
mustered  out  and  returned  to  Michigan. 

After  his  return  home  Mr.  Andrus  engaged 
in  farming  and  subsequently  operated  a  grist- 
mill at  Dewitt  for  two  years.  He  was  married 
in  1867  and  then  rented  a  farm  in  Eagle  town- 
ship, taking  up  his  abode  on  the  Derbyshire 
farm  of  two  hundred  and  twenty  acres,  which 
he  cultivated  for  two  years.  He  was  afterward 
superintendent  of  the  Deitz  farm  in  Watertown 
township  for  a  year  and  in  1876  purchased  his 
present  place  in  Wacousta.  He  was  identified 
with  milling  and  farming  interests  for  a  num- 
ber of  years  but  is  now  living  retired,  enjoying 
a  well  earned  rest. 

Mr.  Andrus  was  married  in  1867  to  Miss 
Alice  Higbee,  a  daughter  of  Elisha  and  Emline 
(Wright)  Higbee.  Their  children  are:  Albert 
H.,  who  is  a  salesman  for  Josiah  Anstice,  a 
hardware  firm  of  Rochester,  New  York;  An- 
nette, the  wife  of  Lucius  Streeter,  of  Syracuse, 
New  York;  and  Frank  C,  who  died  in  infancy. 
Mrs.  Andrus  belonged  to  one  of  the  early 
pioneer  families  of  Clinton  county,  her  people 
having  located  on  section  11,  Eagle  township, 
in  1837.  She  has  two  brothers,  J.  W.  and 
George  C.  Higbee,  the  former  living  in  Teko, 
Washington,  and  the  latter  in  Marquette, 
Michigan.  Her  father  died  at  Winchester, 
Virginia,  in  December,  1864,  while  serving 
under  General  Sheridan  in  the  Civil  war. 

Mr.  Andrus  has  served  as  constable  for  many 
years  and  now  holds  that  office  and  was  also 
deputy  sheriff  of  Clinton  county  under  Sheriffs 
Swiggart  and  Leland  for  eight  years.  In 
politics  he  is  a  stalwart  republican  and  he  be- 
longs to  Joseph  Mason  post,  No.  248,  G.  A.  R., 
at  Wacousta.  He  is  the  oldest  citizen  in  his 
locality  in  point  of  continuous  connection  with 
the  county  and  has  a  remarkable  memory  for 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


events  which  formed  the  early  history  of  this 
part  of  the  state.  His  genial  manner,  kindly 
disposition  and  genuine  worth  have  made  him 
a  respected  and  valued  citizen  of  Clinton  county, 
and  as  a  citizen  and  soldier  he  has  made  an 
excellent  record. 


MAURICE  BEDAINE. 

Maurice  Bedaine,  who  is  interested  in 
general  agricultural  pursuits  on  section  9, 
Watertown  township,  where  he  owns  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  acres  of  land,  was  born  in 
Ohio,  on  the  8th  of  January,  1853,  n^s  parents 
being  John  and  Mary  (Carey)  Bedaine,  both  of 
whom  were  natives  of  France.  The  paternal 
grandfather  also  bore  the  name  of  John  Bedaine 
and  came  to  America  one  year  prior  to  the 
emigration  of  his  son  John.  The  latter  took  up 
his  abode  in  Brown  county,  Ohio,  prior  to  his 
marriage  and  in  1859  removed  with  his  family 
to  Lawrence  county,  Illinois,  where  both  he  and 
his  wife  passed  away. 

Maurice  Bedaine  was  reared  to  the  occupa- 
tion of  farming,  no  event  of  special  importance 
occurring  to  vary  the  routine  of  farm  life  for 
him  in  his  boyhood  days.  He  acquired  his  edu- 
cation in  the  public  schools  and  throughout  his 
entire  life  has  carried  on  general  agricultural 
pursuits.  From  a  comparatively  early  age  he 
depended  entirely  upon  his  own  resources  and 
whatever  success  he  has  attained  is  attribut- 
able entirely  to  his  own  labor  and  enterprise.  In 
1880  he  was  married  to  Miss  Josephine  Kenley, 
a  daughter  of  James  Kenley,  of  Clay  county, 
Illinois,  and  they  have  become  the  parents  of 
six  children:  Mary  J.,  James  B.,  Henry  S., 
Carrie  J.,  Frank  and  Veda  D. 

In  1892  Mr.  Bedaine  removed  from  Cham- 
paign county,  Illinois,  to  Clinton  county,  Michi- 
gan, and  settled  on  section  9,  Watertown  town- 
ship, where  he  purchased  one  hundred  and 
twenty  acres  of  land  of  Samuel  Clark.  In  1905 
he  built  a  new  barn  forty  by  sixty-four  feet  and 
forty-five  feet  from  the  ground  to  the  peak.  It 
is  a  model  structure,  being  the  best  basement 


barn  ever  built  in  Watertown  township.  There 
is  a  cement  basement  wall  under  the  entire 
structure  and  the  building  is  valued  at  fifteen 
hundred  dollars.  Since  coming  to  this  place 
Mr.  Bedaine  has  cleared  away  the  brush  and 
carried  forward  the  work  of  improvement  until 
he  has  brought  the  farm  up  to  a  high  state  of 
cultivation  and  now  has  one  of  the  best  proper- 
ties of  the  township. 

A  democrat  in  his  political  views,  Mr. 
Bedaine  has  never  sought  or  desired  office, 
serving  only  in  connection  with  the  schools, 
filling  the  positions  of  trustee  and  director,  act- 
ing in  the  latter  capacity  at  the  present  time. 
He  has  also  been  path  master.  Fraternally  he 
is  connected  with  the  Modern  Woodmen  of 
America.  In  his  business  career  he  has  worked 
hard  and  surmounted  many  obstacles  and  has 
so  directed  his  labors  that  as  the  years  have 
gone  by  he  has  won  a  good  property  that  is 
the  visible  evidence  of  his  life  of  thrift,  perse- 
verance and  diligence. 


NEWTON  L.  WEBB. 

Newton  L.  Webb,  one  of  the  substantial 
farmers  of  Dewitt  township,  owns  and  operates 
seventy  acres  on  section  9,  constituting  a  well 
improved  and  valuable  farm,  conveniently  lo- 
cated near  the  village  of  Dewitt.  He  has  lived 
in  this  county  since  1872.  A  native  of  Mas- 
sachusetts, his  birth  occurred  in  the  town  of 
Otis,  Berkshire  county,  on  the  25th  of  March, 
1840,  his  parents  being  Loomis  and  Arivalia 
(Dowd)  Webb.  The  father  was  also  a  native 
of  Massachusetts,  born  in  1803,  and  the  grand- 
father, Jonah  Webb,  was  a  native  of  Con- 
necticut. The  Webb  family  is  of  English  line- 
age and  the  first  representatives  of  the  name 
in  the  new  world  took  up  their  abode  in  the  old 
Bay  state.  Jonah  Webb  removed  from  Con- 
necticut to  Massachusetts,  establishing  his  home 
in  Berkshire,  where  he  lived  to  the  remarkable 
age  of  more  than  one  hundred  years.  Loomis 
Webb  was  torn,  reared  and  educated  there  and 
was  three  times  married,  his  first  wife  being 


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MR.    AND   MRS.    MAURICE  BEDAINE. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


165 


Emeline  Kimberley,  by  whom  he  had  five  chil- 
dren. He  removed  from  Massachusetts  to  New 
York  in  1851,  settling  in  Wayne  county,  where 
he  resided  until  his  death,  which  occurred  in 
1866,  when  he  was  eighty-three  years  of  age. 
Newton  L.  Webb  is  one  of  the  family  of  two 
sons  and  three  daughters,  all  of  whom  grew  to 
mature  years  in  New  York  and  are  yet  living, 
namely:  Newton  L. ;  Charles  L.,  who  resides 
in  Huron,  New  York;  Emeline,  the  wife  of 
Enos  H.  Reed,  of  Wolcott,  New  York;  Mrs. 
Phoebe  L.  Swarthout,  a  widow,  also  residing  in 
Laingsburg;  and  Adelia,  the  wife  of  Charles 
Chapin,  a  farmer  of  this  county. 

In  Wayne  county,  New  York,  Newton  L. 
Webb  spent  his  boyhood  and  youth,  acquiring 
a  good  education  in  the  common  schools  and  an 
academy.  He  was  married  in  that  county  on 
the  18th  of  March,  1863, to  Miss  PhoebeHuyck, 
a  native  of  New  York,  born  at  Wolcott.  Fol- 
lowing his  marriage  Mr.  Webb  engaged  in  the 
occupation  of  farming  in  Wayne  county  for 
nine  years  and  in  1872  he  removed  westward  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Clinton  county,  where  he 
purchased  the  farm  upon  which  he  now  re- 
sides. He  at  once  began  its  further  develop- 
ment and  cultivation  and  built  to  and  remodeled 
the  house  and  now  has  a  comfortable  residence. 
He  also  built  outbuildings,  has  fenced  the  place 
and  has  developed  an  excellent  property,  which 
in  its  splendid  appearance  indicates  the  careful 
supervision  of  a  practical  and  progressive  owner. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Webb  have  one  son,  Henry 
M.,  who  was  reared  and  educated  in  Dewitt 
and  remained  at  home  until  he  attained  his 
majority,  when  he  went  to  Lansing,  Michigan, 
where  he  was  employed  by  a  beet  sugar  com- 
pany for  three  years,  being  field  superintendent 
of  the  beet  raising.  He  also  clerked  in  Lansing 
for  two  years  and  in  1904  he  returned  to  the 
farm  and  is  now  associated  with  his  father  in 
its  improvement.  He  wedded  Mrs.  Ida  Averill, 
a  widow. 

In  his  political  views  Newton  L.  Webb  is 
a  stanch  democrat  and  cast  his  first  presidential 
ballot  for  General  George  B.  McClellan  in  i860. 
He  has  filled  a  number  of  official  positions  of 
honor  and  trust,  serving  as  drain  commissioner 


for  one  year,  on  the  school  board  for  fourteen  or 
fifteen  years,  and  for  two  terms  wras  a  member 
of  the  county  board  of  supervisors,  representing 
Dewitt  township,  while  for  four  years  he  was 
commissioner  of  highways.  His  son  Henry 
served  as  one  of  the  board  of  school  inspectors 
and  is  affiliated  with  the  Masonic  fraternity, 
being  now  marshal  of  the  blue  lodge  at  Dewitt. 
Mr.  Webb  is  a  member  of  the  Grange.  The 
family  is  a  worthy  and  respected  one  of  Dewitt 
township,  enjoying  the  esteem  of  all  and  the 
friendship  of  many  with  whom  they  have  come 
in  contact. 


WARREN  B.  CASTERLINE. 

Warren  B.  Casterline,  living  on  section  2.7, 
Essex  township,  his  postoffice  being  St.  Johns, 
is  one  of  the  thoroughly  up-to-date  farmers  of 
his  community,  keeping  in  touch  with  modern 
progress  along  agricultural  lines  so  that  his 
farm  of  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  is  splen- 
didly developed.  Since  1856  he  has  made  his 
home  in  Clinton  county  and  thus  through  a 
half  century  has  been  a  witness  of  its  changes 
and  its  transformation.  Like  many  of  the  older 
citizens  of  this  portion  of  the  state  he  is  a  na- 
tive son  of  New  York,  his  birth  having  occurred 
in  Ithaca,  Tompkins  county,  on  the  7th  of  No- 
vember, 1855.  His  father,  Abraham  L.  Caster- 
line,  was  born  in  the  same  county,  was  there 
reared  and  learned  the  mason's  trade.  As  a 
companion  and  helpmate  for  life's  journey  he 
chose  Miss  Charlotte  J.  Gray,  who  was  born  in 
Ithaca,  New  York,  where  they  were  married. 
In  1856  he  came  with  his  family  to  Michigan, 
settling  in  Clinton  county  at  Dewitt.  There  he 
worked  at  the  mason's  trade  for  some  years. 
He  lost  his  wife  in  Maple  Rapids,  and  since  her 
death  he  has  made  his  home  with  his  son,  War- 
ren B.,  being  a  hale  and  hearty  man  of  seventy- 
five  years.  In  the  early  days  of  the  county's 
development  he  took  an  active  part  in  local 
progress  and  improvement  and  he  has  a  wide 
and  favorable  acquaintance  not  only  among  the 
older  settlers  of  his  community  but  also  among 
the  later  arrivals. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Warren  B.  Casterline  was  only  a  year  old 
when  brought  by  his  parents  to  Clinton  county 
so  that  he  was  reared  to  manhood  within  its 
borders.  His  education  was  acquired  in  the 
schools  of  Dewitt  and  of  Lansing  and  under 
the  direction  of  his  father  he  learned  the 
mason's  trade  and  worked  with  him  for  two 
or  three  years.  After  his  marriage,  however, 
he  abandoned  building  operations  and  located 
on  a  farm  beginning  with  eighty  acres  of  land 
which  was  partially  improved.  He  continued 
the  work  of  clearing  the  place  and  fenced  the 
farm,  which  he  divided  into  fields  of  convenient 
size.  He  has  cleared  away  the  stumps  and  by 
careful  cultivation,  the  judicious  use  of  fer- 
tilizers and  the  rotation  of  crops  has  made  his 
land  very  productive.  He  has  to-day  three 
good  barns  and  a  granary,  and  a  neat  brick 
residence  stands  as  a  monument  to  his  enter- 
prise and  thrift.  When  his  labors  had  brought 
him  increased  capital  he  extended  the  bound- 
aries of  his  place  and  now  owns  one  hundred 
and  sixty  acres  of  land  in  his  home  farm,  to- 
gether with  forty  acres  in  Greenbush  township 
and  eighty  acres  In  Olive  township.  Mr.  Cas- 
terline has  been  a  successful  agriculturist  and 
stock-raiser  and  is  recognized  as  a  man  of  good 
business  ability  and  enterprise.  Aside  from  his 
farming  interests  he  owns  stock  in  a  creamery 
and  also  in  a  union  telephone  company. 

Mr.  Casterline  was  married  in  Essex  town- 
ship to  Miss  Elizabeth  M.  Webster,  a  daughter 
of  Edwin  Webster,  who  removed  with  his 
father  and  the  family  to  Michigan,  settling  in 
Clinton  county  among  its  early  settlers.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Casterline  have  one  daughter,  C.  lone, 
now  the  wife  of  Floyd  Anderson,  a  resident 
farmer  of  Essex  township.  The  parents  and 
the  daughter  are  all  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church  and  Mr.  Casterline  is  one  of 
its  officers.  He  had  also  taken  an  active  and 
helpful  interest  in  the  Sunday-school  and  for 
some  years  was  its  superintendent.  He  belongs 
to  the  Masonic  fraternity  at  Maple  Rapids  and 
in  politics  has  been  a  lifelong  republican,  tak- 
ing an  active  interest  in  the  local  work  of  the 
party.  He  was  elected  and  served  as  highway 
commissioner  for  two  years,  later  was  appointed 


supervisor  to  fill  out  an  unexpired  term  and 
subsequently  was  elected  and  re-elected  to  that 
office  until  his  incumbency  covered  six  con- 
secutive years.  During  one  year  he  was  chair- 
man of  the  honorary  county  board  of  super- 
visors. While  serving  as  supervisor  he  acted 
on  various  important  committees  and  his  efforts 
in  behalf  of  the  county  have  always  been  of  a 
practical  and  beneficial  nature.  He  has  fre- 
quently been  chosen  as  a  delegate  to  numerous 
county  conventions  and  in  all  the  offices  to 
which  he  has  been  called  he  has  proved  cap- 
able and  efficient. 

Mr.  Casterline  is  justly  numbered  among  the 
successful  farmers  and  business  men  of  Clinton 
county.  He  started  out  in  life  empty-handed 
but  he  early  began  to  realize  the  value  of  in- 
dustry and  perseverance  as  active  factors  in 
business  life  and  through  his  persistency  of  pur- 
pose he  has  gradually  worked  his  way  upward. 
A  man  of  integrity  and  worth  he  is  justly 
classed  with  the  enterprising  citizens  of  Clinton 
county. 


JOHN  A.  BECK. 


John  A.  Beck,  living  on  section  10,  Green- 
bush  township,  in  one  of  the  industrious,  ener- 
getic and  prosperous  farmers  of  Clinton  county 
and  his  well  improved  tract  of  land  of  one 
hundred  acres  yields  to  him  a  gratifying  in- 
come. He  dates  his  residence  in  the  county  and 
state  from  1872.  His  birth  occurred  in  Holmes 
county,  Ohio,  December  5,  1848.  His  father, 
Daniel  Beck,  was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  as 
was  the  grandfather,  Michael  Beck,  whose  birth 
occurred  in  Westmoreland,  that  state.  The 
Beck  family  is  of  German  lineage  and  was  es- 
tablished in  the  Keystone  state  at  an  early  epoch 
in  its  development.  Leonard  Beck,  the  great- 
grandfather of  our  subject,  was  brought  by  his 
parents  to  the  new  world  when  a  child  of  two 
years.  At  the  age  of  fourteen  years  he  joined 
the  continental  army  and  served  as  a  drum- 
mer boy  during  the  Revolutionary  war.  Michael 
Beck,  leaving  the  ancestral  home  in  Pennsyl- 
vania, removed  to  Ohio,  becoming  one  of  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


167 


early  settlers  of  Holmes  county,  where  he 
entered  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  and  later 
owned  and  operated  a  farm  of  three  hundred 
and  twenty  acres.  Daniel  Beck  succeeded  to  a 
part  of  the  estate  and  continued  to  carry  on 
agricultural  pursuits  there  until  his  life's  labors 
were  ended  in  death  when  he  was  but  thirty- 
five  years  of  age.  He  also  ran  a  grist  mill.  He 
was  married  in  Holmes  county  to  Miss  Sarah 
A.  Fair,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania.  Benjamin 
Beck,  the  youngest  son  of  Michael  Beck,  suc- 
ceeded to  his  father's  farm,  which  is  still  in 
possession  of  the  family.  He  became  quite 
wealthy  and  died  in  1905. 

John  A.  Beck,  of  this  review,  has  been  de- 
pendent upon  his  own  resources  from  an  early 
age.  He  received  only  common-school  ad- 
vantages and  when  nineteen  years  of  age  he 
took  charge  of  his  grandfather's  farm,  operating 
the  place  for  four  years.  As  a  companion  and 
helpmate  for  life's  journey  he  chose  Miss  Mary 
J.  Altman,  to  whom  he  was  married  in  Holmes 
county,  Ohio,  in  January,  1872.  She  was  born 
and  reared  in  the  Buckeye  state  and  soon  after 
her  marriage  accompanied  her  husband  to 
Michigan,  the  family  home  being  established 
in  section  10,  Greenbush  township.  Mr.  Beck 
had  visited  this  state  the  previous  year  and  had 
bought  a  farm  of  seventy  acres.  The  young 
couple  took  up  their  abode  upon  that  property 
and  Mr.  Beck  at  once  began  to  cultivate  and 
improve  the  place,  to  which  he  has  since  added 
until  he  now  owns  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres. 
He  has  one  hundred  and  five  acres  on  the  home 
place  and  fifty-five  acres  in  another  tract.  He 
has  cleared  the  land  of  timber  and  stumps,  has 
it  divided  into  fields  of  convenient  size  by  well 
kept  fences  and  has  added  all  modern  equip- 
ments. A  neat  residence,  good  barn  and  gran- 
ary stand  as  monuments  to  his  thrift  and  enter- 
prise. There  is  also  a  good  orchard  and  the 
farm  is  altogether  in  keeping  with  ideas  of 
modern  agriculture. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Beck  have  eight  children. 
Gilbert  A.  is  married  and  is  a  substantial 
farmer  of  Greenbush  township,  where  he  owns 
a  well  improved  tract  of  land.  Martha  E.  is 
the  wife  of  Edgar  Burk,  who  is  represented 
11 


elsewhere  in  this  volume.  Oliver  E.  occupies 
a  business  position  in  St.  Johns.  Frank  H.  fol- 
lows farming  in  Greenbush  township.  George 
R.  is  a  mechanic  of  Eureka,  Michigan.  Guy 
E.,  Vernie  G.  and  Albert  A.  are  all  at  home. 
They  also  lost  one  son,  Lyman,  at  the  age  of 
five  months.  Mr.  Beck  belongs  to  the  Masonic 
fraternity,  his  membership  being  in  blue  lodge 
at  Eureka.  His  political  allegiance  is  given  to 
the  democracy  where  national  questions  are 
involved  but  at  local  elections  he  votes  in- 
dependently. His  identification  with  the  in- 
terests and  people  of  Clinton  county  covers  a 
third  of  a  century,  during  which  time  he  has 
made  a  creditable  record  as  a  wide-awake  and 
progressive  farmer  and  successful  business 
man. 


J.  DURFEE  SICKELS. 

J.  Durfee  Sickels  was  born  February  15, 
1820,  in  Palmyra,  New  York,  the  second  in 
a  family  of  eight  children,  six  of  whom  have 
been  more  or  less  intimately  associated  with  the 
history  of  Clinton  and  Gratiot  counties :  Aaron, 
who  represented  the  district  at  the  legislature 
and  was  a  prominent  citizen  of  Elsie  for  many 
years ;  William,  who  was  register  of  deeds  and 
judge  of  probate  for  Clinton  county  and  closely 
allied  with  the  history  of  Gratiot  county; 
Lucina,  the  wife  of  John  Kneeland,  of  Elba; 
Anne,  the  only  surviving  one,  wife  of  E.  W. 
Cobb,  a  prominent  citizen  of  Elsie ;  Emma,  who 
taught  school  for  about  thirty  years  in  the 
vicinity;  and  J.  Durfee,  the  subject  of  this 
sketch. 

His  paternal  grandfather,  Philip  Vran  Ziegel, 
was  of  Holland  descent,  the  name  being  angli- 
cized to  Sickels  by  Philip's  son,  John  F.,  who 
moved  with  his  family  to  Michigan  in  1836. 
They  sent  their  household  goods  by  boat  across 
Lake  Erie,  where  they  were  all  lost  in  a  storm. 
The  family  came  in  a  coach  across  Canada,  the 
boys  driving  the  stock.  They  settled  on  an 
improved  farm  near  Northville,  where  the  father 
died  in  1839.  The  family  soon  moved  to  an- 
other farm  near  Howell,  where  J.  Durfee  re- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


mained  until  1847,  when  he  came>  a  YonnS  man 
of  twenty-seven  years,  to  Duplain.  When  he 
had  been  here  two  years  he  married  Sarah  Jane 
Cobb,  who  had  preceded  him  into  the  wilder- 
ness with  her  parents  two  years  before  his  ar- 
rival. She  was  a  descendant  of  good  old 
colonial  and  Mayflower  stock,  making  her  a  fit 
pioneer's  wife  in  the  new  country  in  which  they 
now  established  their  home. 

From  his  mother,  Hannah  Durfee,  Mr. 
Sickels  imbibed  the  Quaker  faith  which  domi- 
nated his  life.  His  mother  was  a  descendant 
of  Thomas  Durfee,  who  came  from  England  to 
Portsmouth,  Rhode  Island,  in  1660.  His  ma- 
ternal grandfather  was  a  lieutenant  of  George 
III  but  joined  the  patriots  and  served  as  minute 
man  in  Captain  Simmon's  company,  Colonel 
Olney's  regiment,  muster  roll  of  1781. 

The  first  public  office  held  by  J.  Durfee 
Sickels  in  Duplain  was  in  185 1,  when  he  was 
elected  as  supervisor,  which  office  he  held 
periodically  until  1884— thirteen  years  in  all. 
During  his  administration  the  courthouse  was 
built  at  St.  Johns  on  its  present  site.  He  also 
held  the  office  during  the  greater  part  of  the 
Civil  war  and  it  was  his  duty  to  look  after  the 
widows  and  orphans,  giving  them  the  govern- 
ment supplies,  often  all  too  meager  for  their 
needs.  During  the  first  few  years  of  his  work 
as  supervisor  Duplain  included  Elba  and 
Hamilton  and  as  there  were  no  roads  and  many 
dense  forests  his  work  was  an  arduous  one. 

In  1856  he  assisted  in  platting  the  village  of 
Elsie  and  with  his  two  brothers,  William  and 
Aaron,  built  and  stocked  the  first  store.  He  was 
one  of  the  original  trustees  of  the  Methodist 
church  and  hold  the  office  until  his  failing 
health  compelled  him  to  resign.  He  was  the 
second  postmaster  in  the  village  and  held  the 
office  for  twenty  years.  He  served  as  justice 
of  the  peace  for  eight  years  and  was  elected 
for  a  third  term  but  refused  to  serve.  He  held 
the  office  of  township  treasurer  in  1850  and 
was  afterward  township  clerk.  In  1868  he  was 
nominated  for  the  legislature  but  withdrew  on 
account  of  ill  health.  What  was  perhaps  the 
most  laborious  service  given  to  the  public  and 
the  one  performed  under  the  most  difficult  con- 


ditions was  the  work  on  the  state  road,  which 
extends  from  the  center  of  Ovid  township 
twenty  miles  through  the  towns  of  Duplain, 
Elba  and  Hamilton.  He  was  commissioned  by 
the  governor  to  superintend  the  surveying  of 
this  road,  which  was  built  for  the  purpose  of 
reaching  valuable  timber  lands  beyond.  The 
magnitude  of  this  undertaking  can  scarcely  be 
realized  by  one  who  now  drives  over  this  broad 
thoroughfare,  lined  with  prosperous  farms  and 
pleasant  homes.  The  southern  portion  was  in 
more  or  less  good  condition  but  the  northern 
part  had  to  be  built  through  an  almost  impene- 
trable swamp  and  unbroken  wilderness. 

On  his  return  from  a  session  of  the  board 
of  supervisors,  held  in  January,  1885,  the  last 
one  he  attended,  he  fell  from  a  platform  at 
Owosso  junction  and  sustained  injuries  from 
which  he  never  recovered  and  which  doubtless 
hastened  his  death,  which  occurred  in  April, 
1898.  His  widow  survived  him  seven  years, 
closing  an  unusually  useful  life  in  February, 
1905.  They  left  an  unbroken  family  of  seven 
children:  J.  Whitney  Sickels,  of  Grand  Ledge; 
Alvah  L.  Sickels  and  Mrs.  L.  G.  Bates,  of 
Elsie;  Mrs.  Arthur  Hall,  Mrs.  D.  E.  Andrews, 
Mrs.  Jennie  S.  Parker  and  Mrs.  W.  G.  Rankin, 
of  Detroit. 


ISAAC  HEWITT. 


Isaac  Hewitt,  well  known  as  a  representative 
of  the  financial  interests  of  Clinton  county,  hav- 
ing for  some  years  been  engaged  in  the  bank- 
ing business  at  Maple  Rapids,  was  born  in 
Dewitt,  this  county  on  the  20th  of  January, 
1839.  His  father,  William  A.  Hewitt,  was 
a  native  of  Steuben  county,  New  York,  born 
in  1812,  and  was  there  reared  to  manhood, 
after  which  he  wedded  Miss  Hannah  C.  Hyatt, 
also  a  native  of  the  Empire  state.  In  1833  or 
1834  he  removed  westward  to  Oakland  county, 
Michigan,  and  in  1835  came  to  Clinton  county, 
his  being  one  of  the  first  families  of  this  county. 
He  located  in  Dewitt,  where  he  engaged  in 
merchandising.  He  was  a  lawyer  by  profes- 
sion and  practiced  to  some  extent  after  coming 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


171 


to  the  west.  He  also  served  as  justice  of  the 
peace  for  a  number  of  years,  being  the  first  to 
hold  that  office  in  the  county,  and  was  promi- 
nent and  influential  in  community  affairs.  In 
1852  he  removed  to  Maple  Rapids,  where  he 
cleared  some  land  and  built  the  first  saw  and 
grist  mill  on  Maple  river.  He  also  established 
a  store  and  thus  was  actively  and  closely  con- 
nected with  business  interests  of  importance  and 
in  the  upbuilding  and  development  of  the 
county.  He  successfully  managed  financial  in- 
terests and  in  all  that  he  did  won  a  gratifying 
measure  of  prosperity.  His  labors,  too,  were 
of  benefit  to  his  community  and  his  death  there- 
fore was  regarded  as  a  loss  throughout  Clinton 
county.  He  died  in  Maple  Rapids,  February 
12,  1863,  while  his  wife,  long  surviving  him, 
passed  away  in  1898. 

Isaac  Hewitt  is  one  of  a  family  of  four  sons 
and  one  daughter,  all  of  whom  reached  adult 
age  and  became  heads  of  families.  Joseph  W. 
Hewitt  was  a  prominent  merchant  of  Maple 
Rapids  and  died  here  February  9,  1896.  Z. 
N.  Hewitt,  who  also  engaged  in  business  in 
Maple  Rapids,  passed  away  June  10,  1883.  The 
sister,  Fannie,  became  the  wife  of  M.  B.  Brown, 
who  engaged  in  merchandising  in  Maple  Rapids 
and  subsequently  in  St.  Johns. 

Isaac  Hewitt,  the  youngest  member  of  the 
family,  was  reared  and  educated  in  Clinton 
county,  mastering  the  elementary  branches 
of  learning  in  the  common  schools.  He  re- 
ceived a  thorough,  practical  business  training 
in  his  father's  store  and  as  his  assistant  in  other 
business  ventures  remained  with  him  until  he 
attained  his  majority.  About  that  time  Mr. 
Hewitt  was  married  in  Maple  Rapids,  on  the 
3d  of  April,  1859,  t0  Miss  Helen  C.  Lansing, 
a  daughter  of  Harry  H.  Lansing,  who  was  born 
m  New  York  and  was  married  there  to  Miss 
Lydia  A.  Walkinshaw,  who  died  in  the  Empire 
state  when  Mrs.  Hewitt  was  a  maiden  of  eleven 
summers.  Mr.  Lansing  afterward  removed  to 
Michigan  in  1853,  locating  at  Maple  Rapids, 
Clinton  county,  where  he  engaged  in  agricul- 
tural pursuits. 

For  a  year  after  his  marriage  Isaac  Hewitt 
remained  with  his  father  and  assisted  him  in 


the  conduct  of  his  various  business  enterprises. 
He  then  rented  the  mill  and  was  engaged  in  its 
operation  for  about  nine  months.    He  next  con- 
ducted a  grocery  store  and  general  mercantile 
enterprise.     He  likewise  built  a  sawmill  and 
was  engaged  in  the  manufacture  and  sale  of 
lumber  for  a  number  of  years.     He  has  for  a 
long  period  given  his  attention  to  the  purchase 
and   sale  of  real  estate  and  now  owns  three 
well   improved  farms  which  return  to  him  a 
gratifying  income.      In    1889  he  entered  into 
patrnership  with  F.  D.  Groom  and  purchased 
the  Maple  Rapids  Bank,  of  which  Mr.  Groom 
is  the  cashier.     Mr.  Hewitt  has  since  been  as- 
sociated with  the  institution  which  is  regarded 
as  one  of  the  safe,  reliable  financial  concerns  of 
the  county.     He  has  stimulated  the  interests  of 
the  county   by  loaning  money  and  has   aided 
very  materially  in  the  upbuilding  and  develop- 
ment of  Maple  Rapids,  being  closely  identified 
with  the  people  and  their  business  interests  for 
nearly    a    half    century.      Whatever    tends    to 
benefit  the  locality  receives  his  endorsement  and 
many  times  his  active  co-operation  and  his  ef- 
forts have  been  a  helpful  factor  in  public  life 
here. 

Mr.  Hewitt  has  also  served  on  the  village 
board  both  as  trustee  and  president  and  at  his 
father's  death  he  was  appointed  to  succeed  him 
as  justice  of  the  peace  and  filled  that  position 
while  settling  his  father's  estate,  but  has  never 
sought  or  desired  official  preferment.  On  the 
contrary  he  has  preferred  to  give  his  time  and 
energies  to  his  extensive  business  interests 
which  have  been  crowned  with  a  gratifying 
measure  of  prosperity.  He  and  his  wife  are 
members  of  the  Christian  church,  with  which 
Mr.  Hewitt  has  been  connected  since  1875.  He 
has  served  as  one  of  its  deacons  and  as  a  mem- 
ber of  the  financial  board  and  has  also  been 
treasurer  and  trustee.  He  contributes  gener- 
ously to  the  support  of  the  church  and  in  all 
its  work  takes  an  active  and  helpful  part.  He 
has  been  treasurer  of  the  Michigan  Christian 
state  conference  since  1881,  and  also  one  of 
its  trustees.  Fraternally  he  is  connected  with 
the  Masons,  belonging  to  the  blue  lodge  at 
Maple  Rapids.     He  was  a  charter  member  of 

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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


that  lodge,  organized  in  1863,  and  its  first 
junior  warden.  He  served  through  all  of  its 
chairs,  was  master  for  eight  or  ten  years  and 
is  now  a  past  master.  He  likewise  belongs  to 
St.  Johns  chapter,  R.  A.  M.,  the  council  and 
the  commandery,  and  is  also  a  member  of  the 
Mystic  Shrine  at  Grand  Rapids. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hewitt  have  been  bom 
two  children :  Carrie  H.,  now  the  wife  of  Fred 
Travis,  of  St.  Johns;  and  Ray  M.,  who  is  now 
holding  an  important  position  in  the  office  of 
the  auditor  general  of  Michigan,  at  Lansing. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Travis  have  two  children,  Mar- 
garet and  Frederick,  while  Ray  M.  is  married 
and  has  a  son,  Harold.  Mr.  Travis  is  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Masonic  fraternity  and  has  attained 
the  Knight  Templar  degree  and  is  also  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Mystic  Shrine  at  Grand  Rapids. 

Mr.  Hewitt  has  a  very  wide  acquaintance  in 
Clinton  county,  where  his  entire  life  has  been 
passed.  For  two-thirds  of  a  century  he  has 
witnessed  the  changes  which  have  occurred  here 
and  his  labors  have  been  attended  with  ex- 
cellent results  as  the  years  have  gone  by.  He 
belongs  to  that  class  of  representative  Amer- 
ican citizens  who,  while  promoting  individual 
success  also  advance  the  general  welfare,  and 
much  of  the  progress  and  prosperity  of  Maple 
Rapids  is  directly  attributable  to  his  efforts. 


JOB  W.  SEXTON. 

Farming  and  stock-raising  interests  consti- 
tute an  important  source  of  income  and  wealth 
to  the  citizens  of  Clinton  county  and  to  agri- 
cultural pursuits  Job  W.  Sexton  devotes  his  at- 
tention, making  his  home  on  section  29,  Victor 
township,  where  he  has  one  hundred  and  fifty 
acres  of  land,  the  productiveness  of  which  has 
been  proven  in  the  excellent  crops  which  he  has 
annually  harvested  there.  He  is  one  of  Mich- 
igan's old  settlers,  his  residence  in  the  state  dat- 
ing from  1846,  while  since  1863  he  has  made 
his  home  in  Clinton  county.  His  birth  occurred 
in  Clark  county,  Ohio,  July  24,  184 1.  His  fa- 
ther, Zephaniah  Sexton,  was  a  native  of  Ver- 


mont,  further  mention  of  whom   is  made  on 
another  page  of  this  work.     The  son  was  a 
lad  of  only  five  years  when  brought  by  his  par- 
ents to  Michigan,  the  days  of  his  boyhood  and 
youth   being   passed   in   Oakland   county   upon 
the    father's    farm,    so    that   he   early   became 
familiar  with  all  the  duties  and  labors  that  fall 
to  the  lot  of  the  agriculturist.      He  had  fair 
common-school  advantages  and  was  trained  to 
a  life  of  industry  and  integrity.     About  1863 
he  removed  to  Clinton  county  and  bought  and 
located  on  a  farm  where  he  yet  resides,  becom- 
ing owner  of  eighty  acres  on  which  no  improve- 
ments had  been  made  save  the  erection  of  a 
log  house.     He  at  once  began  to  clear  away 
the  timber,  break  the  land  and  place  it  under 
cultivation  and  as  he  prospered  in  this  task  he 
extended  the  boundaries  of  his  farm  by  addi- 
tional purchases  until  he  now  has  one  hundred 
and   fifty-four   acres,    constituting   a   valuable 
property.     His  home  is  a  substantial  one  and 
there  is  also  a  good  barn  and  other  outbuild- 
ings which  he  keeps  in  repair.     He  has  like- 
wise set  out  an  orchard  and  indeed  has  made 
the  farm  a  good  and  productive  property,  neat 
and  attractive  in  appearance. 

In  January,  1866,  in  Victor  township,  was 
celebrated  the  marriage  of  Mr.  Sexton  and  Miss 
Catherine  Arthur,  who  was  born  and  reared  in 
Oakland  county.  There  were  four  children  of 
this  marriage:  Calvin  E.,  a  resident  farmer  of 
Victor  township,  who  is  married  and  has  one 
child,  Gracie  E. ;  Samuel  F.,  who  is  married 
and  resides  in  Byron,  Michigan,  and  has  one 
son,  Hubert  A.;  Jay  W.,  who  is  residing  at 
Fenton,  Michigan ;  and  Zeph,  of  Lansing.  He 
is  married  and  has  a  daughter,  Margery  E. 

Politically  Mr.  Sexton  is  a  republican  where 
national  issues  are  involved  but  at  local  elec- 
tions where  only  the  welfare  of  the  community 
is  to  be  considered  he  votes  independently.  He 
was  elected  and  served  as  commissioner  of  high- 
ways and  as  township  treasurer  for  one  or  more 
terms  and  as  a  member  of  the  school  board  has 
done  effective  service  in  behalf  of  education. 
Mr.  Sexton  is  a  member  of  the  Masonic  fra- 
ternity, affiliated  with  the  blue  lodge  at  Laings- 
burg.     He  has  been  a  Master  Mason  for  over 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  JOB  W.  SEXTON. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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thirty-five  years  and  is  likewise  a  member  of 
the  Grange.  He  is  well  known  in  Victor  town- 
ship and  in  Clinton  county,  and  his  many  ex- 
cellent traits  of  manhood  have  made  him  a  repre- 
sentative citizen  of  the  community. 


JOHN  C.  DOOLING. 

John  C.  Dooling,  a  member  of  the  firm  of 
Dooling  &  Kelley,  practicing  at  the  St.  Johns 
bar,  was  born  in  this  city,  November  19,  1868, 
his  parents  being  Jeremiah  and  Mary  (Dunn) 
Dooling,  the  former  a  native  of  Ireland.  The 
paternal  grandfather,  Andrew  Dooling,  was 
born  on  the  Emerald  Isle  and  came  to  America 
about  seventy-five  years  ago.  Making  his  way 
to  Michigan,  he  settled  in  Oakland  county,  tak- 
ing up  his  abode  upon  a  farm  where  he  spent 
his  remaining  days,  his  remains  being  interred 
in  Mount  Eliot  cemetery  at  Detroit  when  he 
was  seventy-eight  years  of  age.  His  son,  Jere- 
miah Dooling,  was  married  at  Pontiac,  Michi- 
gan, to  Miss  Mary  Dunn,  who  was  born  in 
the  Empire  state  and  was  a  daughter  of  John 
Dunn,  who  emigrated  from  Ireland  and  became 
a  resident  of  Shiawassee  county,  Michigan, 
where  he  followed  farming  for  many  years. 
Both  he  and  his  wife,  however,  have  long  since 
passed  away.  Jeremiah  Dooling  came  from 
Pontiac,  Michigan,  to  St.  Johns  on  the  first 
train  that  entered  this  city  in  1857.  He  worked 
for  the  D.  G.  H.  &  M.  Railroad  and  had  a  con- 
tract for  carrying  the  United  States  mail  to  the 
postoffice,  performing  that  government  service 
from  1865  until  1901.  He  also  held  the  posi- 
tion of  night  watchman  and  deputy  sheriff  for 
thirty- four  years.  The  first  Catholic  services 
of  this  city  were  held  in  his  home  and  he  was 
a  very  devout  worshiper  of  that  faith  and  one 
of  the  organizers  of  St.  Johns  Catholic  church. 
He  died  in  1903,  at  the  age  of  seventy- four 
years,  having  spent  all  but  two  years  of  his  life 
in  Michigan.     His  widow  still  survives  him. 

John  C.  Dooling  continued  his  education  in 
the  high  school  of  St.  Johns  and  then  prepared 
for  his  chosen  profession  as  a  student  in  the  law 


department  of  the  University  of  Michigan, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  with  the  class 
of  1889.  He  did  not  at  once  enter  upon  the 
active  practice  of  the  profession,  but  became 
a  clerk  in  the  law  department  of  the  R.  G.  Dun 
Mercantile  Agency  at  Grand  Rapids.  On  leav- 
ing that  service  he  spent  a  year  and  a  half  in 
the  practice  of  law  at  Belding,  Michigan,  after 
which  he  came  to  St.  Johns  and  entered  into 
partnership  with  E.  H.  Lyon  under  the  firm 
style  of  Lyon  &  Dooling,  a  connection  that  was 
maintained  for  five  years,  when  he  became  a 
junior  partner  in  the  firm  of  Spaulding,  Norton 
&  Dooling.  This  relation  was  also  continued 
for  five  years  or  until  July,  1902,  when  the 
present  law  firm  of  Dooling  &  Kelley  was  es- 
tablished with  Dean  W.  Kelley  as  the  junior 
partner. 

-  Mr.  Dooling  is  recognized  as  a  prominent  at- 
torney of  Clinton  county,  standing  well  in  his 
profession  for  which  he  was  ably  qualified  by 
a  thorough  course  in  law,  while  in  the  prepar- 
ation of  his  cases  he  is  now  careful  and  pains- 
taking, his  arguments  being  characterized  by  a 
clear  and  cogent  reasoning.  His  political  al- 
legiance is  given  to  the  democracy. 


JOSEPH  E.  CRAVEN. 

On  the  list  of  Elsie's  representative  business 
men  appears  the  name  of  Joseph  E.  Craven, 
who  has  been  actively  associated  with  business 
enterprises  of  the  town  for  sixteen  years,  mak- 
ing a  creditable  record  that  is  indicated  by  his 
success  and  the  honorable  name  which  he  bears 
in  trade  circles.  He  was  born  in  Lenawee 
county,  Michigan,  November  16,  1857,  and 
comes  of  English  lineage.  His  paternal  great- 
great-grandfather,  Thomas  Craven,  was  a  na- 
tive of  England  and,  crossing  the  Atlantic, 
established  his  home  in  New  Jersey  at  an  early 
day.  His  grandson,  Joseph  Craven,  was  born 
in  that  state  and  on  removing  to  New  York 
took  up  his  abode  in  Seneca  county,  where  the 
birth  of  John  T.  Craven,  the  father  of  our  sub- 
ject, occurred.     He  was  reared  and  educated  in 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT 


that  county  and  was  married  there  to  Miss 
Louisa  Quigly,  a  native  of  New  York.  In  order 
to  provide  for  his  family  he  followed  agri- 
cultural pursuits  in  Seneca  county  until  his 
removal  to  Michigan,  at  which  time  he  es- 
tablished his  home  in  Lenawee  county.  One 
year  later  he  took  up  his  abode  in  Clinton 
county,  but  afterward  returned  to  the  Empire 
state,  where  his  last  years  were  passed.  His 
wife  survived  him  for  a  few  weeks  and  de- 
parted this  life  in  the  county  of  her  nativity. 

Joseph  E.  Craven  is  one  of  a  family  of  nine 
children  who  reached  mature  years.     He  was 
reared  on  a  farm  in  Seneca  county,  New  York, 
to   the   age   of   eighteen   years   and   was   well 
equipped    for    life's    practical    and    responsible 
duties  by  a  good  education.     He  learned  the 
printer's    trade,    spending   about   a   year   in    a 
printing  office,  after  which  he  engaged  in  clerk- 
ing  in   the   general   store  of   L.    G.    Bates   at 
Elsie,  entering  his  employ  in  1877.     For  ten 
years  he  acted  in  that  capacity,  receiving  a  thor- 
ough practical  business  training.     In  1888  he 
was  appointed  postmaster  of  Elsie  by  President 
Harrison  and  served  for   four  years.     In  the 
same  room  as  the  postoffice  he  put  in  a  stock  of 
goods,  having  a  nice  line  of  notions,  in  which 
he  built  up  a  gratifying  trade.     On  the  expi- 
ration of  his  term  as  postmaster  he  entered  into 
partnership  with  Mr.  Eddy  and  they  opened  a 
line  of  general  merchandise  in  a  frame  building, 
which  was  replaced  by  a  neat  brick  block   in 
February,   1904.     They  now  have  one  of  the 
best  and  most  complete  stocks  of  goods  in  Elsie 
and   their   trade   has    reached   gratifying   and 
profitable    proportions.      They    are    numbered 
among  the  most  progressive  merchants  of  the 
place,   carrying  a   line  of  goods  that  is   thor- 
oughly up  to  date,  while  their  store  would  be 
a  credit  to  a  city  of  much  larger  size.     Their 
business    methods   are   such   as   will  bear   the 
closest  investigation  and  scrutiny,  for  they  have 
placed  their  dependence  upon  such  old  and  time 
tried  maxims  as  "Honesty  is  the  best  policy" 
and  "There  is  no  excellence  without  labor." 

Mr.  Craven  was  united  in  marriage  in  Elsie 
in  1879  to  Miss  Alice  W.  Eddy,  a  daughter  of 
Reuben   Eddy,   then   living   in   Elsie  but   for- 


OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 

merly  of  Oskaloosa,  Iowa,  in  which  city  Mrs. 
Craven  was  born.  Her  girlhood  days,  however, 
were  largely  passed  in  Elsie  and  she  is  in- 
debted to  the  public-school  system  for  the  edu- 
cational privileges  she  enjoyed.  There  is  one 
son  of  this  marriage,  L.  D.  T.  Craven,  a  young 
man  who  is  well  educated  and  is  now  acting  as 
a  clerk  in  the  store  with  his  father  and  uncle. 

Politically  Mr.  Craven  endorses  republican 
principles  and  keeps  well  informed  on  the 
questions  and  issues  of  the  day,  but  is  without 
political  aspiration,  preferring  to  give  his  at- 
tention to  his  business  interests.  He  belongs  to 
the  Masonic  fraternity.  He  and  his  wife  are 
identified  with  the  Eastern  Star  and  he  is  also 
connected  with  the  Knights  of  the  Maccabees. 
He  stands  to-day  as  one  of  the  most  successful 
merchants  and  progressive  busines  men  of  the 
town  and  likewise  is  a  public-spirited  citizen, 
who  is  found  as  the  champion  of  each  move- 
ment or  measure  that  is  calculated  to  promote 
the  general  welfare. 


FRED  B.  CARPENTER. 

.  Fred  B.  Carpenter,  whose  home  is  on  section 
7,  Ovid  township,  where  he  is  successfully  en- 
gaged in  farming,  is  a  representative  of  New 
England  ancestry,  the  Carpenters  having  re- 
sided in  Rhode  Island  at  an  early  day.  His 
father,  Clark  Carpenter,  however,  was  a  na- 
tive of  Cayuga  county,  New  York,  and  spent 
his  early  life  in  the  Empire  state,  where  he  was 
engaged  in  teaching  and  farming.  He  wedded 
Miss  Mary  Bowles,  a  native  of  Maryland  and 
a  representative  of  one  of  the  old  families  of 
that  state.  Throughout  the  greater  part  of  his 
life  Clark  Carpenter  continued  to  carry  on  agri- 
cultural pursuits  and  he  held  a  number  of  offices 
of  trust,  the  duties  of  which  he  discharged  with 
promptness  and  fidelity.  He  died  in  1895,  at 
the  age  of  seventy-six  years,  while  his  wife 
passed  away  in  1897,  at  the  age  of  sixty-seven 
years.  In  their  family  were  five  children,  all 
of  whom  are  living:  Almaron,  who  is  an 
engineer    on    the    Delaware,    Lackawanna    & 


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177 


Western  Railroad,  residing  at  Buffalo,  New 
York;  Fred  B.;  Mary,  the  wife  of  William 
Snyder,  of  Spring-water,  New  York;  Byron, 
a  contractor  of  Chicago;  and  Frances,  the  wife 
of  Spencer  Becker,  of  Ontario  county,  New 
York. 

Fred  B.   Carpenter  was  born  in  Livingston 
county,   New  York,  May  21,    1854.     He  ob- 
tained his  early  education  in  the  district  schools 
and  afterward  attended  the  graded  schools  of 
Springwater,  New  York,  subsequent  to  which 
time  he  learned  the  carpenter's  trade,  eventually 
becoming   a   contractor.      He   worked   for  ten 
years  in  that  line  in  the  east  and  then  came  to 
Michigan  in  1887,  locating  in  Owosso,  where 
he  was  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  caskets 
for  two  years.     He  afterward  went  to  Belding, 
Michigan,    where   he  had   charge   of   a   casket 
factory   for   seven  years,   when  he  became  ill 
with   rheumatism.      He   visited   several   health 
resorts  and  finally   recuperated,   subsequent  to 
which  time  he  took  charge  of  a  casket  factory 
in  New  York  city,  where  he  remained  for  two 
years.     He  then  returned  to  Michigan,  locating 
on  an  eighty-acre  farm  which  he  purchased  on 
section    7,     Ovid    township,    Clinton    county, 
erecting  here  a  new  residence  and  later  a  good 
barn,  both  of  which  indicate  in  large  measure 
the  handiwork  and  skill  of  Mr.  Carpenter.     He 
has  an   excellent   farm,   the   land  being  richly 
cultivated,  while  everything  about  the  place  is 
indicative  of  the  careful  supervision  and  earnest 
efforts  of  a  progressive  owner. 

On  the  6th  of  April,  1887,  Mr.  Carpenter 
was  married  to  Miss  Sarah  Thompson,  a  daugh- 
ter of  William  Thompson,  of  Ontario  county, 
New  York.  They  have  two  sons:  William, 
who  is  serving  with  the  United  States  Army  in 
the  Philippines ;  and  Byron,  who  is  a  farmer  of 
Ontario  county,  New  York. 

In  his  political  affiliations  Mr.  Carpenter  has 
been  a  stalwart  republican  since  the  Cleveland 
administration  but  cast  his  first  presidential 
ballot  for  Samuel  J.  Tilden.  In  1901  he  was 
elected  supervisor  of  Ovid  township  and  has 
twice  been  re-elected  so  that  he  is  still  the  in- 
cumbent in  the  office.  Fraternally  he  is  con- 
nected with  the  Knights  of  Pythias  at  Belding 


and  he  is  a  man  of  liberal  views,  progressive 
spirit  and  fine  social  qualifications  who  has 
gained  and  retained  the  friendship  and  regard 
of  many  with  whom  he  has  been  associated 
since  he  came  to  the  middle  west. 


THEODORE  BENGEL. 

Theodore  Bengel,  whose  attention  is  devoted 
to  farming  along  modern  progressive  lines  of 
agriculture,  makes  his  home  on  section  3,  West- 
phalia township.     He  was  born  in  this  township 
and  is  a  son  of  Thomas  and  Mary  (Ackerman) 
Bengel,   both  of  whom  were  natives   of  Ger- 
many, whence  they  came  to  the  United  States 
in   1848  after  their  marriage,  which  had  been 
celebrated  in  the  fatherland.    Having  spent  four 
years  in  Flint,  Michigan,  they  came  to  Clinton 
county  in   1852,  locating  on  section  3,  West- 
phalia township.    Mr.  Bengel,  who  was  a  miller 
by  trade,  was  employed  for  eighteen  years  in 
R.  B.  Smith's  mill  at  Portland,  but  the  family 
remained  upon  the  farm  on  section  3,  where  he 
owned    forty   acres   of  land.      At  the  time  he 
made  the  purchase  this  was  one  of  the  best  im- 
proved farms  in  the  township.     He  afterward 
built  thereon  a  new  residence  and  good  barn 
and  as  his  financial  resources  made  possible  the 
further   purchase  of    land    he    added    to    his 
property  until  at  the  time  of  his  death  he  owned 
one  hundred  and  eighty  acres.     He  always  kept 
the  farm  up  to  a  high  standard  of  improvement 
and  development  and  although  he  devoted  his 
attention   to    the   milling   business    during   his 
active  business  career  his  last  years  were  spent 
upon  the  homestead  property,   where  he  died 
in  1896,  when  about  eighty  years  of  age,  his 
birth  having  occurred  in  18 16.     His  wife  died 
in  1888,  when  sixty-eight  years  of  age.   In  their 
family  were  nine  children,  of  whom  the  follow- 
ing are  living:  Katie,  now  the  wife  of  Joseph 
Hengesbach,  of  Westphalia  township;  Charles, 
of  Beal   City,   Michigan;  Carrie,  the  wife  of 
Jacob  Martin,  of  Dallas  township;  and  Theo- 
dore   of    this    review;    those    deceased    are 
Robert,  Thomas  and  three  who  died  in  infancy. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Theodore  Bengel  acquired  his  education  in 
the  parochial  and  common  district  schools. 
He  has  resided  upon  the  old  home  farm  con- 
tinuously since  1896,  when  he  purchased  the 
property  and  is  regarded  as  one  of  the  enter- 
prising and  prosperous  agriculturists  of  the 
community.  In  all  of  his  work  he  is  practical 
as  well  as  progressive  and  his  fields  give  every 
indication  of  careful  supervision  and  yield  to 
him  a  golden  tribute  in  return  for  the  care  and 
labor  which  he  annually  bestows  upon  them. 

In  1889  was  celebrated  the  marriage  of 
Theodore  Bengel  and  Miss  Mary  Buechel,  a 
daughter  of  Bernard  Buechel,  of  Westphalia. 
She  died  in  1891,  when  only  twenty  years  of 
age,  leaving  a  son,  Bernard.  In  1898  Mr.  Ben- 
gel was  again  married,  his  second  union  being 
with  Miss  Maggie  Rademacher,  a  daughter  of 
John  Rademacher  and  they  have  four  children, 
Carrie,  Anna,  Theresa  and  Joseph. 

In  politics  Mr.  Bengel  is  a  democrat  and  has 
served  as  pathmaster  and  school  director.  He 
has  also  been  supervisor  for  six  terms,  from 
1898  until  1903  inclusive,  and  during  the  last 
term  was  chairman  of  the  board.  He  does 
everything  in  his  power  to  forward  the  best 
interests  of  the  county  and  is  a  co-operant  factor 
in  many  plans  for  the  general  good.  He  be- 
longs to  St.  Mary's  German  Catholic  church, 
to  the  Catholic  Men's  Benevolent  Association 
and  to  the  Arbeiter  Verein.  He  is  a  progressive 
citizen,  successful  in  the  conduct  of  his  in- 
dividual affairs  and  regarded  as  one  of  the 
leading  and  representative  men  of  his  com- 
munity. 


MARK  PENNELL. 


Mark  Pennell,  living  on  section  5,  Dewitt 
township,  is  a  prominent  farmer  and  a  man  of 
good  business  and  executive  ability,  well  known 
in  Clinton  county  because  of  his  accomplish- 
ment in  agricultural  lines  and  by  reason  of  his 
activity  in  affairs  relating  to  public  progress  and 
improvement.  He  is  now  serving  his  sixth  term 
as  supervisor  and  his  continuation  in  office  is  an 
indication  of  the  confidence  and  trust  reposed 


in  him  by  his  fellow  townsmen.  He  has  lived 
in  the  county  since  1869  anc^  ^s  one  °f  *ne 
worthy  citizens  that  the  Empire  state  has  fur- 
nished to  Michigan,  for  his  birth  occurred  in 
Orleans  county,  New  York,  on  Christmas  day 
of  1854.  His  father  was  Orrin  G.  Pennell, 
who  was  born  in  Chenango  county,  New  York, 
and  was  married  there  to  Miss  Lorana  Davis, 
likewise  a  native  of  that  state.  In  1861  they 
removed  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Washtenaw 
county,  where  they  remained  for  eight  years, 
and  then  came  to  Clinton  county,  locating  in 
Dewitt  township,  where  Mark  Pennell  now  re- 
sides. The  father  spent  his  last  years  here, 
passing  away  in  1899,  having  for  sometime  sur- 
vived his  wife.  They  had  three  sons :  Galusha, 
wTho  is  living  in  St.  Johns  and  is  represented 
elsewhere  in  this  work;  Edwin,  of  Ionia, 
Michigan;  and  Mark,  of  this  review.  The 
father  and  all  of  the  sons  have  served  as  super- 
visor of  Dewitt  township,  and  the  family  have 
ever  stood  for  good  citizenship  and  progress. 

Mark  Pennell  was  a  youth  of  seven  years 
when  the  family  left  New  York  and  came  to 
Michigan,  and  was  fifteen  when  they  came  to 
Clinton  county,  since  which  time  he  has  lived 
in  Dewitt  township.  His  early  education  was 
acquired  in  the  schools  of  his  native  state  and 
he  afterward  continued  his  studies  in  the  village 
of  Dewitt  and  in  the  Agricultural  College  at 
Lansing,  Michigan.  He  assisted  his  father  in 
the  operation  of  the  homestead  place  until  the 
latter  s  death,  when  he  took  charge  of  the 
property,  w4iich  he  has  since  managed.  He  and 
his  brother  purchased  the  interest  of  the  other 
heirs  and  Mark  Pennell  now  owns  one-half  of 
the  old  place,  constituting  one  hundred  and 
sixty  acres.  He  has  further  improved  the 
property  and  has  continuously  conducted*  his 
farming  interests  with  excellent  results,  having 
now  a  good  property  from  which  he  annually 
harvests  fine  crops. 

In  1880  Mr.  Pennell  was  married  in  Dewitt 
to  Miss  Ella  Goodman,  who  was  born  in  New 
York  but  was  reared  in  this  county.  In  politics 
he  is  a  stanch  democrat  and  was  elected  super- 
visor of  the  township,  in  which  office  he  has 
been  continued  by  re-election  until  he  is  now 


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MARK  PENNELL. 


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181 


serving  for  the  sixth  term.  He  has  also  been 
justice  of  the  peace  and  filled  other  local  posi- 
tions and  has  likewise  been  a  delegate  to  the 
state  and  county  conventions  of  his  party,  where 
his  opinions  carry  weight  because  of  his  known 
loyalty  to  progressive  measures.  He  is 
identified  with  the  Masonic  fraternity,  belong- 
ing to  the  blue  lodge  at  Dewitt  and  in  his  life 
exemplifies  the  beneficent  spirit  of  the  craft.  His 
worth  is  widely  acknowledged  and  while  there 
have  been  no  exciting  chapters  in  his  life  record 
it  shows  the  value  and  force  of  upright  char- 
acter and  of  loyal  citizenship  in  winning  the 
esteem  and  confidence  of  one's  fellowmen. 


WILLIAM  FIZZELL. 

William  Fizzell,  living  on  section  17,  Du- 
plain  township,  owns  and  operates  a  farm  of 
eighty  acres  of  land,  constituting  a  well  im- 
proved and  valuable  place.  He  is  one  of 
Canada's  native  sons,  his  birth  having  occurred 
in  Cunningham  county,  Ontario,  April  18, 
1856.  His  father,  William  Fizzell,  was  a  na- 
tive of  Ireland,  born  in  1824,  and  there  he  was 
reared  and  married,  the  lady  of  his  choice  being 
Miss  Mary  Alton.  Subsequently  he  crossed 
the  Atlantic  to  the  new  world,  taking  up  his 
abode  in  Ontario,  Canada,  in  1850.  He  lo- 
cated on  a  farm  there,  where  he  made  his  home 
until  1866,  when  he  removed  to  Wayne  county, 
Michigan,  and  again  devoted  his  energies  to 
agricultural  pursuits.  In  1871  he  came  to  Clin- 
ton county,  settling  on  twenty  acres  in  Ovid 
township,  where  he  followed  farming  for  thirty- 
three  years.  He  now  resides  with  his  son  John, 
and  is  a  hale  and  hearty  old  man  of  eighty-two 
years.  He  has  lost  his  wife,  however,  her  death 
occurring  on  the  2d  of  June,  1884.  In  their 
family  were  three  sons  and  three  daughters,  all 
of  whom  are  living  and  have  become  heads  of 
families. 

William  Fizzell  of  this  review  was  reared  to 
manhood  in  Ovid  township  and  acquired  a  com- 
mon-school education.  In  his  youth  he  assisted 
in  the  labors  of  the  farm,  remaining  with  his 


father  until  he  reached  mature  years.  He  was 
employed  in  his  youth  on  different  farms  of  the 
neighborhood  and  when  twenty-two  years  of 
age  he  bought  forty  acres  of  land,  whereon  he 
now  resides.  This  constituted  the  nucleus  of 
his  present  property.  After  his  marriage  he 
began  the  cultivation  and  development  of  the 
farm  and  in  the  course  of  years  he  extended  its 
boundaries  by  an  additional  purchase  of  forty 
acres  so  that  he  now  has  a  good  tract  of  land 
of  eighty  acres.  When  he  located  on  this  place 
it  was  in  the  midst  of  the  forest  and  was 
covered  with  a  dense  growth  of  trees,  but  soon 
the  sound  of  the  woodman's  ax  awakened  the 
echoes  and  one  by  one  the  trees  fell  before  his 
sturdy  strokes  until  the  land  was  cleared  and 
prepared  for  the  plow.  He  has  fenced  the  place, 
erected  modern  buildings  and  has  carried  for- 
ward the  work  of  improvement  along  most  pro- 
gressive lines.  The  farm  is  all  now  clear  of 
stumps  and  the  rich  soil  yields  abundant 
harvests,  so  that  the  place  is  to-day  a  valuable 
farming  property. 

Mr.  Fizzell  was  married  in  Ovid  township, 
on  the  22d  of  March,  1882,  to  Miss  Emma  S. 
Avery,  a  native  of  Greenbush  township,  Clinton 
county,  and  a  daughter  of  Tyler  C.  Avery, 
one  of  the  early  settlers  who  came  from  New 
York  to  Michigan.  Mrs.  Fizzell  was  reared 
and  educated  in  Ovid  township  and  was  to  her 
husband  a  faithful  companion  and  helpmate  on 
the  journey  of  life  but  on  the  6th  of  April, 
1898,  she  was  called  to  her  final  rest.  There 
were  three  children  by  that  marriage,  Alton  J., 
Herbert  A.  and  Carrie  L.  In  November,  1901, 
Mr.  Fizzell  was  again  married,  his  second  union 
occurring  in  Duplain  township,  when  Miss 
Anna  A.  Hess  became  his  wife.  She,  too,  was 
a  native  of  the  Empire  state  and  was  brought 
to  Michigan  when  a  maiden  of  eight  summers, 
her  father  being  Squire  Peter  Hess,  of  Duplain 
township.  Her  education  was  obtained  in  the 
public  schools  and  she  was  reared  here  in  her 
parents'  home,  being  trained  to  all  of  the 
duties  of  the  household,  so  that  she  was  well 
qualified  to  take  care  of  a  home  of  her  own 
at  the  time  of  her  marriage.  She  is  a  lady  of 
culture  and  refinement  and  prior  to  her  mar- 


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riage  engaged  in  teaching,  having  acquired  a 
good  education  in  the  high  school  of  St.  Johns. 
For  thirteen  years  she  devoted  her  time  and 
energies  to  the  work  of  public  instruction  and 
was  widely  recognized  as  a  capable  teacher. 

Politically  Mr.  Fizzell  is  a  stanch  republican. 
He  was  elected  and  is  now  serving  for  the  sec- 
ond year  in  the  office  of  township  treasurer  and 
collector.  He  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the 
Duplain  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in  the 
work  of  which  they  take  an  active  and  helpful 
interest,  Mr.  Fizzell  now  serving  as  one  of  its 
stewards.  He  and  his  wife  have  also  been  help- 
ful workers  in  the  Sunday-school  for  a  num- 
ber of  years,  both  serving  as  teachers  and  Mr. 
Fizzell  is  a  member  of  the  choir  and  acted  as 
chorister  for  several  years.  He  affiliates  with 
the  local  Grange  and  is  especially  interested  in 
all  that  pertains  to  the  development  of  the  agri- 
cultural class.  He  is  an  active  and  successful 
farmer  and  business  man  and  has  a  neat  and 
well  kept  property,  equipped  with  good  build- 
ings, an  orchard  and  various  modern  improve- 
ments. He  is  especially  interested  in  agri- 
cultural societies  and  the  work  for  the  advance- 
ment of  farming  interests  and  keeps  in  touch 
with  the  most  modern  progress.  A  gentleman 
of  unblemished  character,  his  word  is  as  good 
as  any  bond  that  was  ever  solemnized  by  sig- 
nature or  seal,  and  he  and  his  wife  stand  very 
high  socially  in  the  community,  having  long 
resided  here,  so  that  their  worth  is  well  known. 


JACKSON  PAGE. 


A  valuable  farm  comprising  one  hundred  and 
seven  and  a  half  acres  of  rich  and  productive 
land  is  the  property  of  Jackson  Page,  and  it 
lies  on  section  6,  Duplain  township,  where  he 
is  now  successfully  engaged  in  farming.  More 
than  a  half  century  has  come  and  gone  since 
he  located  in  this  county,  having  arrived  here 
in  the  fall  of  1853.  He  was  born  in  Porter 
township,  Delaware  county,  Ohio,  May  8, 
1832.  He  spent  the  first  twenty  years  of  his 
life  upon  the  old  homestead  farm  there,  during 
which  period  he  acquired  a  good  common-school 


education.  When  a  young  man  he  came  west 
to  Michigan,  settling  in  Gratiot  county,  where 
he  entered  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land. 
Later  he  returned  to  Ohio  and  brought  his 
mother  and  her  family  to  this  state  and  they 
settled  in  Gratiot  county.  Mr.  Page  began 
clearing  his  own  land  and  also  met  the  ex- 
periences and  vicissitudes  of  pioneer  life.  The 
great  forests  were  uncut  and  abounded  in  many 
kinds  of  wild  game,  including  deer.  He  also 
hunted  and  killed  bears  and  greatly  enjoyed  the 
pleasures  of  the  chase.  A  part  of  the  time  Mr. 
Page,  while  clearing  his  land,  made  his  home 
with  his  mother  but  later  he  built  a  little  cabin 
on  his  place  and  for  a  time  kept  "bachelor's 
hall.,, 

After  the  inauguration  of  the  Civil  war  he 
enlisted  at  Eureka,  in  August,  1861,  as  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Third  Michigan  Cavalry  and  with 
his  regiment  went  south  to  Benton  Barracks, 
St.  Louis.  Subsequently  he  participated  in  the 
siege  of  Corinth  and  in  numerous  other  engage- 
ments in  that  part  of  the  country.  He  was 
wounded  at  Booneville,  being  shot  in  the  shoul- 
der, and  thus  disabled  he  was  taken  to  the 
hospital,  where  he  remained  about  a  month. 
Later  he  rejoined  his  regiment  and  was  in  a 
number  of  important  battles,  including  the  en- 
gagements at  Iuka  and  Bay  Springs,  Mis- 
sissippi, and  Jackson,  Tennessee,  driving  the 
Confederates  out  of  that  place,  which  was  re- 
garded as  a  southern  stronghold.  On  the  ex- 
piration of  his  first  term  he  veteranized  and  was 
then  granted  a  thirty  days'  furlough  which  he 
spent  at  home.  He  then  rejoined  his  regiment 
at  St.  Louis  and  went  down  the  Mississippi 
river,  participating  in  the  siege  of  New  Madrid 
and  Island  No.  10.  Later  he  was  at  Cairo  and 
went  up  the  Ohio  river.  He  served  until  the 
close  of  the  war  and  was  at  San  Antonio, 
Texas,  when  mustered  out.  He  had  been  at 
New  Orleans  and  Mobile,  also  up  the  Red  river 
and  in  various  localities  in  that  part  of  the 
country,  being  always  on  active  duty,  which 
sometimes  led  him  into  the  thickest  of  the  fight 
and  again  took  him  on  long  marches  and  hard 
campaigns.  He  was  honorably  discharged  at 
Jackson,  Michigan,  in  March,  1866. 


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185 


Mr.  Page  at  once  returned  home  to  his  farm, 
and  on  the  23d  of  September  of  the  same  year 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Mrs.  Mary  Dague, 
the  widow  of  Fred  Dague,  who  died  in  Ohio. 
She  was  a  daughter  of  Hon.  Joseph  Keen,  a 
prominent  lawyer  who  served  in  the  state  legis- 
lature and  who  had  been  a  major  in  the  Ohio 
militia.  He  was  a  prominent  and  influential 
man  and  became  a  valued  resident  of  Michigan. 
Following  his  marriage  Mr.  Page  located  on 
the  farm  where  he  now  resides,  on  section  6, 
Duplain  township,  Clinton  county,  and  he 
cleared  the  land  and  built  a  house.  He  had 
purchased  the  farm  while  in  the  army,  it  hav- 
ing been  the  property  of  his  brother  George 
who  died  in  the  service.  In  1888  Mr.  Page 
erected  his  present  attractive  residence  and  he 
has  also  put  up  a  good  barn,  set  out  an  orchard 
and  made  the  place  one  of  the  productive  farms 
of  the  county.  Here  he  engages  in  the  cultiva- 
tion of  the  cereals  best  adapted  to  soil  and 
climate  and  also  in  the  raising  of  stock,  having 
good  hogs,  sheep,  cattle  and  horses  upon  his 
place. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Page  became  the  parents  of 
four  children  but  have  lost  two,  and  Mrs.  Page 
also  lost  one  child  by  her  former  marriage. 
Those  yet  living  are:  George,  who  is  married 
and  is  now  engaged  in  the  operation  of  the 
home  farm;  and  Fannie,  the  wife  of  George 
Andrews,  a  farmer  of  this  township.  Their 
daughter,  Sarah,  who  for  several  years  was  a 
successful  teacher,  died  in  early  womanhood. 
Katie  was  also  a  teacher  and  died  when  a  young 
lady.  By  her  former  marriage  Mrs.  Page  had 
a  daughter,  Edith,  who  married  and  settled  in 
Saginaw  county,  Michigan,  where  her  death 
occurred. 

Politically  Mr.  Page  is  a  stalwart  republican, 
having  given  unfaltering  support  to  the  party 
since  casting  his  first  presidential  ballot  for  John 
C.  Fremont  in  1856.  He  has  served  as  district 
treasurer  and  director  of  schools  for  a  few 
years  but  does  not  care  for  political  office.  He 
was  formerly  for  twenty-five  years  a  member 
of  the  Eureka  lodge,  I.  O.  O.  F.,  in  which  he 
has  filled  all  of  the  offices  and  served  as  a  past 
grand.     He  was  also  a  member  of  the  Grand 


Army  post  there  but  both  lodges  have  dis- 
banded. His  attention  is  chiefly  given  to  his 
agricultural  pursuits  and  his  farm  of  one  hun- 
dred and  seven  and  a  half  acres  is  under  a  high 
state  of  cultivation.  In  matters  of  citizenship 
he  is  always  public-spirited  and  progressive, 
manifesting  the  same  loyalty  to  his  country 
that  he  displayed  when  on  southern  battle- 
fields he  wore  the  blue  uniform  of  the  nation. 


MERVIN  WEBSTER. 

Mervin  Webster,  living  on  section  9,  Bath 
township,  is  a  prosperous  agriculturist,  whose 
farm  of  seventy  acres  indicates  his  careful 
supervision,  practical  methods  and  progressive 
spirit.  His  life  history  began  in  Oakland 
county  on  the  25th  of  May,  1852.  His  father, 
John  Webster,  was  likewise  a  native  of  that 
county,  and  the  grandfather  was  Chester  Web- 
ster, whose  birth  occurred  in  Connecticut.  Re- 
moving to  the  west  he  became  one  of  the  first 
settlers  of  Oakland  county  and  in  the  midst  of 
the  green  woods  he  established  his  home  and 
developed  a  good  farm,  letting  in  the  sunlight 
upon  the  fields  as  he  cut  down  the  timber  and 
prepared  the  land  for  the  plow.  John  Webster 
was  reared  to  manhood  in  Oakland  county  and 
after  reaching  adult  age  he  chose  as  a  com- 
panion and  helpmate  for  the  journey  of  life 
Miss  Chloe  Richmond,  who  was  born  in  the 
state  of  New  York  and  was  a  daughter  of  John 
Richmond,  also  an  early  settler  of  Oakland 
county.  Following  his  marriage  John  Webster 
carried  on  farming  in  the  county  of  his  nativity 
for  a  number  of  years  and  the  household  was 
brightened  by  the  presence  of  five  children,  who 
were  born  there.  Later  he  removed  to  Shia- 
wassee county  where  he  again  opened  up  a  farm 
but  eventually  returned  to  Oakland  county, 
whence  in  1867  he  came  to  Clinton  county. 
Here  he  purchased  land,  settling  in  Bath  town- 
ship, but  was  not  long  permitted  to  enjoy  his 
new  home  for  his  death  occurred  in  1868.  His 
wife  survived  him  for  a  number  of  years  and 
passed  away  in  1903.     They  had  become  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


parents  of  three  sons  and  four  daughters  and 
with  the  exception  of  one  son  all  reached  adult 
age. 

Mervin  Webster  reached  manhood  upon  the 
home  farm,  remaining  with  his  mother  until 
he  was  grown.  He  then  began  earning  his  own 
living  by  working  as  a  farm  hand  by  the  month 
and  was  thus  occupied  for  three  years.  In  fact 
he  was  dependent  upon  his  own  resources  for 
a  living  from  an  early  age  and  whatever  suc- 
cess he  has  attained  is  attributable  entirely  to 
his  labor  and  enterprise.  He  was  married  in 
Bath  township,  November  14,  1876,  to  Miss 
Mary  E.  Saxton,  a  daughter  of  J.  B.  Saxton, 
and  a  sister  of  Mrs.  Nelson  McLarren,  whose 
sketch  appears  elsewhere  in  this  work.  After 
his  marriage  Mr.  Webster  bought  a  small  tract 
of  land  of  thirty  acres  and  locating  thereon 
farmed  it  for  a  year.  He  next  removed  to 
Dewitt  township,  taking  up  his  abode  on  the 
farm  of  Horace  Richmond,  his  uncle,  his  at- 
tention being  given  to  its  further  cultivation 
for  five  years,  during  which  time  his  labors 
brought  him  a  capital  sufficient  to  enable  him 
to  purchase  forty  acres,  and  he  invested  on  sec- 
tion 9,  Bath  township,  where  he  now  resides. 
Immediately  after  he  began  to  improve  this 
property  he  bought  thirty  acres  adjoining.  The 
neat  and  substantial  two  story  residence  stand- 
ing here  was  built  by  him,  also  the  commodious 
barn  and  other  outbuildings  which  furnish  am- 
ple shelter  for  grain  and  stock.  Around  the 
house  is  a  well  kept  lawn  and  the  farm  is 
fenced.  There  is  every  indication  that  the 
owner  is  a  man  of  enterprise  and  industry  to 
whom  indolence  and  idleness  are  utterly  foreign, 
for  throughout  the  farm  there  is  an  air  of  neat- 
ness and  thrift. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Webster  have  a  daughter, 
Sara,  now  a  young  lady  at  home.  Since  cast- 
ing his  first  presidential  ballot  for  Samuel  J. 
Tilden,  in  1876,  Mr.  Webster  has  been  an 
earnest  democrat  supporting  each  nominee  at 
the  head  of  the  ticket.  He  was  elected  and 
served  for  two  years  as  highway  commissioner, 
for  three  terms  has  been  supervisor  and  while 
on  the  board  was  a  member  of  the  committee 
of  equalization  and  claims  and  also  chairman 


of  the  drainage  committee.  His  interest  in  edu- 
cation has  been  manifest  by  the  tangible  and 
beneficial  effort  that  he  has  put  forth  on  the 
school  board  for  the  improvement  of  the  schools 
and  the  employment  of  competent  teachers.  He 
is  at  present  district  clerk.  All  his  life  he  has 
made  his  home  in  Michigan  and  is  numbered 
among  the  old  settlers  of  Clinton  county,  whose 
efforts  have  done  much  toward  making  the 
county  what  it  is  to-day. 


JOSEPH  HINMAN. 

The  name.of  Joseph  Hinman  is  closely  as- 
sociated with  official  service  in  Eagle  township 
and  as  a  representative  of  farming  interests  he 
is  also  well  known.  He  was  born  in  McKane 
county,  Pennsylvania,  November  25,  1834,  and 
is  a  son  of  Curtis  and  Almira  S.  (De  Witt) 
Hinman,  who  were  natives  of  the  Empire  state. 
The  paternal  grandfather  was  Peleg  Hinman, 
who  was  killed  at  Sacket  Harbor,  while  serving 
in  the  war  of  1812.  The  maternal  grandfather, 
Jacob  De  Witt,  came  from  Pennsylvania  to 
Michigan  in  1838  by  ox  team  and  after  going 
to  Dunkirk  and  Detroit  he  located  in  Oakland 
county,  where  he  spent  one  year.  He  then  came 
to  Clinton  county  in  1839  and  settled  in  Eagle 
township,  where  he  spent  his  remaining  days. 
In  1838  our  subject's  parents  also  came  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Oakland  county,  but  the 
following  year  removed  to  Eagle  township, 
Clinton  county,  and  the  father  began  farming 
on  section  15  in  what  is  known  as  the  Grand 
river  country.  He  there  bought  eighty  acres 
of  land,  to  which  he  added  until  at  his  death 
he  owned  a  large  estate.  In  the  early  days  he 
frequently  made  trips  to  Pontiac  to  mill  and 
marketed  his  grain  at  Detroit.  He  passed  away 
at  the  age  of  sixty  years,  while  his  wife  died 
previously  at  the  age  of  forty-seven  years.  In 
their  family  were  ten  children,  of  whom  the 
following  are  living:  Joseph,  of  this  review; 
Charles,  of  Necosta  county,  Michigan;  Dor- 
leska,  the  wife  of  A.  H.  Gibbs,  of  South 
Dakota;   Herbert,   of  Tennessee;   Milford,   of 


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Missouri;  George,  who  is  living  in  Bay  county, 
Michigan;  Reuben,  of  Westphalia  township, 
Clinton  county;  and  Henry,  who  resides  in 
the  state  of  Washington.  Two  of  the  family 
have  passed  away :  Jennie,  who  was  the  wife  of 
William  Radcliff;  and  Edward  C,  who  was 
buried  at  sea  while  returning  from  Alaska. 

Joseph  Hinnian  received  but  limited  educa- 
tional privileges,  pursuing  his  studies  in  a  log 
schoolhouse  on  the  frontier,  where  the  methods 
of  instruction  were  very  primitive.  He  early 
began  work  on  a  farm.  His  father  was  a 
Carpenter  but  Joseph  Hinman  preferred  the 
labor  of  the  fields  and  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
one  years  he  started  out  in  life  on  his  own  ac- 
count. Attracted  by  the  discovery  of  gold  at 
Pike's  Peak  he  went  west  to  Colorado,  and 
afterward  to  Oregon,  where  he  remained  for 
two  years.  He  then  returned  to  his  native 
state  and  locating  in  Eagle  township  purchased 
eighty  acres  of  his  present  farm.  As  his  in- 
creased financial  resources  have  made  possible 
the  additional  purchase  of  land  he  has  added  to 
the  place  until  he  now  owns  two  hundred  and 
seventy  acres,  the  greater  part  of  which  has 
been  brought  to  a  high  state  of  cultivation.  He 
has  erected  modern  buildings  here  and  has  one 
of  the  finest  farms  in  Clinton  county.  He  has 
assisted  in  clearing  much  land  in  this  locality 
and  in  his  own  business  operations  has  dis- 
played the  unfaltering  energy  and  determination 
which  always  constitute  a  safe  basis  for  suc- 
cess. With  the  family  he  shared  in  all  of  the 
hardships  and  privations  of  pioneer  life  as  well 
as  its  pleasures  and  can  remember  when  Clin- 
ton county  was  largely  an  unsettled  district. 
He  was  but  eleven  years  of  age  when  he  killed 
a  bear  in  this  county  and  he  had  other  interest- 
ing and  exciting  experiences. 

On  the  17th  of  May,  1862,  Mr.  Hinman  was 
married  to  Miss  Sarah  Goss,  a  daughter  of 
David  Goss,  of  Westphalia  township,  and  they 
now  have  three  children:  Maud,  the  wife  of 
Henry  Childs,  of  Saginaw,  Michigan;  John  C, 
living  in  Eagle  township;  and  Ada,  the  wife  of 
Charles  W.  Brown,  living  on  the  home  farm. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Hinman  is  in- 
dependent.    He  has  served  as  supervisor  for 


two  terms,  as  township  treasurer  for  three 
terms  and  in  other  minor  offices,  the  duties  of 
which  he  has  discharged  with  capability  and 
promptness.  He  is  a  man  of  sound  judgment 
in  business  matters  and  his  utilization  of  oppor- 
tunity and  carefully  directed  labors  have  made 
him  one  of  the  substantial  agriculturists  of  his 
community.  Moreover  he  is  one  of  the  pioneer 
settlers  of  the  county  and  his  memory  carries 
with  it  many  pictures  of  the  early  days  when 
the  forests  were  uncut  and  land  unclaimed.  As 
•the  years  have  gone  by  he  has  taken  just  pride 
in  what  has  been  accomplished  in  the  way  of 
development  and  improvement  and  has  long 
been  classed  as  a  representative  and  public- 
spirited  citizen. 


EDWIN  PARKER. 


Edwin  Parker,  who  is  interested  in  farming 
on  section  23,  Victor  township,  and  whose 
practical  methods  in  cultivating  and  improving 
his  land  are  shown  in  the  neat  appearance  of  his 
farm  of  eighty  acres,  is  a  native  son  of  this 
township,  his  birth  having  occurred  within  its 
borders  on  the  13th  of  March,  1849.  His 
father,  John  Parker,  was  a  native  of  the  state 
of  New  York,  of  whom  further  mention  is 
made  on  another  page  in  connection  with  the 
sketches  of  Epson  and  Newell  Parker.  In  the 
family  were  thirteen  children,  nine  sons  and 
four  daughters,  of  whom  seven  are  yet  living. 

The  family  settled  in  Victor  township  in 
pioneer  days.  Edwin  was  there  reared  upon 
the  old  homestead  and  has  shared  with  the  fam- 
ily in  the  hardships  and  vicissitudes  of  pioneer 
life  as  well  as  in  its  pleasures.  He  remained 
with  his  mother  until  he  had  attained  his  ma- 
jority and  assisted  in  the  opening  up  and  im- 
proving of  the  farm  so  that  he  gained  prac- 
tical knowledge  of  the  best  methods  of  tilling 
the  soil.  Later  he  began  to  improve  his  own 
place — an  eighty-acre  tract  of  land.  He  cleared 
and  fenced  this,  adding  substantial  buildings, 
and  in  fact  has  made  the  farm  what  it  is  to- 
day.    He  planted  a  good  orchard,  also  set  out 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


shade  and  ornamental  trees  which  add  to  the 
value  and  attractive  appearance  of  the  home. 
The  farm  is  now  well  improved  and  equipped 
with  all  modern  conveniences  and  the  owner 
is  regarded  as  a  most  practical  agriculturist, 
who  is  making  continuous  progress  in  his 
chosen  field  of  labor. 

Mr.  Parker  was  united  in  marriage  in  Shia- 
wassee county  to  Miss  Hattie  Swarthout,  a  na- 
tive of  Michigan.  They  began  their  domestic 
life  upon  a  farm  where  Mrs.  Parker  died  and 
later  Mr.  Parker  was  again  married  in  Shia- 
wassee county,  his  second  union  being  with  Miss 
Gussie  Schultz,  a  German  lady,  who  died  fifteen 
months  later.  In  Perry,  Michigan,  he  wedded 
Mrs.  Clara  Calkins,  a  widow,  who  by  her  for- 
mer marriage  had  one  son,  Glenn  Calkins,  who 
is  assisting  Mr.  Parker  in  carrying  on  the 
home  farm. 

A  temperance  man  in  principle  and  practice, 
Mr.  Parker  is  now  voting  with  the  prohibition 
party.  He  has  never  desired  or  sought  office, 
preferring  to  give  his  time  and  attention  to  his 
farm  work  and  business  interests.  His  entire 
life  has  been  passed  in  Clinton  county  and  in 
the  development  and  progress  of  Victor  town- 
ship he  has  been  closely  associated.  He  is 
familiar  with  its  history  and  has  intimate 
knowledge  of  the  efforts  which  have  marked  its 
progress  as  the  years  have  gone  by  and  Clinton 
county  has  taken  its  place  among  the  leading 
counties  of  this  great  commonwealth. 


BENJAMIN  F.  YOUNG. 

In  his  farming  operations  on  section  3,  Ben- 
gal township,  Mr.  Young  has  found  that  in- 
dustry and  persistence  constitute  a  sure  and 
safe  basis  of  success,  and  as  the  years  have 
gone  by  he  has  so  conducted  his  business  af- 
fairs that  he  has  prospered  and  become  the 
owner  of  an  improved  farm  of  one  hundred  and 
twenty  acres.  In  the  township  where  he  yet 
resides  he  first  opened  his  eyes  to  the  light  of 
day,  his  birthplace  being  his  present  farm  and 
the  date  February  17,   1844.     His  father  was 


Jonathan  Young,  a  native  of  England,  born  in 
Yorkshire,  where  he  was  reared  and  married 
the  first  time.  After  crossing  the  Atlantic  to 
the  new  world  he  made  his  way  direct  to  Michi- 
gan in  1840,  settling  in  Clinton  county,  and 
here  he  married  his  second  wife,  Mrs.  Hannah 
Green,  who  was  a  widow  and  was  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Bengal  township.  She  had 
entered  land  from  the  government  here,  becom- 
ing owner  of  two  hundred  acres.  Mr.  Young 
later  cleared  this  land  and  continued  the  work 
of  farming,  spending  his  remaining  days  on 
that  property.  Both  he  and  his  wife  died  in 
the  year  1856. 

Benjamin  F.  Young,  the  only  son  of  this 
union,  was  reared  upon  the  old  farm  homestead 
and  was  indebted  to  the  district  school  of  the 
neighborhood  for  the  educational  privileges  he 
enjoyed.  Following  the  death  of  his  parents 
he  was  under  care  of  a  guardian  until  he  at- 
tained his  majority.  He  was  only  twenty  years 
of  age,  when  in  March,  1864,  he  re- 
sponded to  the  country's  call  for  troops, 
enlisting  in  Company  A  of  the  Twenty- 
third  Michigan  Infantry.  He  served  in  the 
Army  of  Ohio  under  Generals  Schofield  and 
Spaulding  and  participated  in  the  battle  of 
Kenesaw  Mountain,  the  Atlanta  campaign,  the 
capture  of  the  city  of  Atlanta,  the  battles  of 
Franklin  and  Nashville  and  a  number  of  less 
important  engagements,  serving  until  the  close 
of  the  war.  During  a  part  of  the  time  he  was 
on  detached  duty  at  Raleigh,  North  Carolina, 
and  was  there  mustered  out  on  the  5th  of  June, 
1866.  He  lost  no  time  while  in  the  service 
from  sickness  or  other  cause  and  after  being 
honorably  discharged  returned  to  his  home  in 
Bengal  township. 

Mr.  Young  at  once  resumed  farming  and  he 
gained  a  companion  and  helpmate  for  life's 
journey  by  his  marriage,  October  2,  1867,  to 
Miss  Julia  D.  Grant,  also  a  native  of  Bengal 
township  and  a  daughter  of"  Charles  Grant,  one 
of  the  early  settlers,  who  came  from  New  York 
state  to  Michigan  about  1838.  Mr.  Young, 
now  having  further  impetus  for  renewed  effort 
in  his  farm  work,  cleared  more  land,  fenced  his 
place  and  brought  his  fields  up  to  a  high  state 


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of  cultivation.  He  has  erected  a  substantial 
residence  here,  also  two  good  barns  and  two 
granaries,  together  with  other  outbuildings  for 
the  shelter  of  the  stock.  He  has  planted  an 
orchard,  put  in  some  tile  and  now  has  a  well 
developed  farm  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
acres  which  is  largely  given  to  the  raising  of 
cereals  best  adapted  to  soil  and  climate.  How- 
ever, he  also  engages  to  some  extent  in  stock- 
raising,  having  good  Durham  cattle,  Shrop- 
shire sheep  and  Poland  China  hogs. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Young  have  become  the  par- 
ents of  four  children:  Viola  A.,  the  wife  of 
Herschel  Hostettler,  a  farmer  of  Bengal  town- 
ship, and  by  whom  she  has  five  children,  Earl, 
Howard,  Myron,  Dorothy  and  Lawrence;  Ida, 
the  wife  of  Merritt  Ridnour,  who  has  built  a 
neat  residence  and  is  now  carrying  on  the 
Young  farm,  and  they  have  two  children,  Edna 
and  Carl;  Myron,  who  died  in  early  manhood 
in  1900;  and  Charles  L.,  who  died  at  the  age 
of  six  years. 

In  politics  Mr.  Young  is  a  true  blue  repub- 
lican, casting  his  first  presidential  ballot  for  Gen- 
eral Grant  in  1868  and  for  each  presidential 
nominee  of  the  party  since  that  time.  He  has 
taken  quite  an  active  interest  in  local  elections 
and  has  served  for  two  terms  as  assessor  and 
four  consecutive  terms  as  supervisor,  during 
which  time  he  acted  on  a  number  of  important 
committees,  including  the  equalization,  claims 
and  public  buildings  committees.  He  has  like- 
wise served  as  drain  commissioner.  He  was 
one  of  the  charter  members  of  Bengal  town- 
ship Grange,  of  which  he  served  as  master,  and 
he  belongs  to  St.  Johns  post,  G.  A.  R.,  while 
he  and  his  wife  are  devoted  members  of  St. 
Johns  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  From  his 
infancy  down  to  the  present  time  he  has  lived 
upon  the  farm  which  is  yet  his  home  and  has 
many  friends  who  have  known  him  from  his 
boyhood  to  the  present  time.  That  his  life  has 
been  honorable  and  upright  is  indicated  by  the 
fact  that  he  yet  receives  their  friendship  and 
warm  regard.  While  carrying  on  his  private 
business  interests  he  has  never  been  neglectful 
of  the  duties  of  citizenship  and  the  creditable 
military  record  which  he  made  as  a  soldier  of 


the  Union  Army  has  been  indicative  of  his 
loyalty  to  civic  honor  and  public  progress  in  the 
years  that  have  since  come  and  gone. 


FRANK  L.  DOUGLAS. 

One  of  the  attractive  modern  residences  in 
Watertown  township  is  the  home  of  Frank  L. 
Douglas,  who  resides  on  section  17,  where  he 
has  a  valuable  and  well  improved  farm.  He  is 
a  native  of  Avon,  New  York,  born  July  10, 
185 1.  His  paternal  grandfather,  Caleb  Douglas, 
was  a  native  of  Sandersfield,  Massachusetts, 
born  July  6,  1788.  His  mother  died  when  he 
was  only  three  weeks  old  and  in  1805  he  re- 
moved to  Hubbard,  New  York,  with  the  gentle- 
man who  had  adopted  him  but  he  still  kept  the 
name  of  Douglas.  He  purchased  a  farm  in  that 
locality  and  there  spent  his  remaining  days, 
passing  away  in  1839.  He  held  membership  in 
the  Baptist  church  and  lived  a  life  that  com- 
manded for  him  the  respect  and  confidence  of 
all  with  whom  he  was  associated.  On  the  2d 
of  July,  1807,  he  was  married  to  Belinda  Chap- 
pell,  a  daughter  of  William  Chappell,  of  Mas- 
sachusetts. 

Yates  Douglas,  father  of  our  subject,  was 
torn  in  the  Empire  state  and  was  there  married 
to  Miss  Eliza  Adams,  likewise  a  native  of  New 
York.  In  the  spring  of  1870  they  went  to 
Kansas,  joining  a  colony  at  Blue  Rapids,  that 
state.  They  were  among  the  first  settlers  there 
and  the  father  made  his  home  in  Kansas 
throughout  the  remainder  of  his  life.  He  lived 
there  during  the  days  of  stockades  and  other 
evidences  of  pioneer  life  and  took  a  prominent 
and  helpful  part  in  the  development  and 
progress  of  that  section  of  the  country.  He 
died  in  1890,  at  the  age  of  sixty-seven  years, 
his  birth  having  occurred  in  1823,  while  his 
wife,  who  was  born  in  1826,  is  still  living  in 
Kansas.  She  was  a  daughter  of  Abraham 
Adams,  a  native  of  Vermont,  who  removed  to 
New  York  and  served  his  country  as  a  captain 
in  the  war  of  18 12.  He  was  fearless  and  out- 
spoken and  possessed  a  progressive  spirit  that 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


made  him  a  valued  citizen  of  the  community  in 
which  he  resided.  In  the  family  of  Yates  and 
Ann  Eliza  Douglas  there  were  seven  children: 
Ora  B.  and  Eugene  Y.,  who  are  residents  of 
Kansas;  Eliza  A.,  the  wife  of  Theodore  Mc- 
Grath,  of  Lemar,  Colorado;  Ellen  V.,  the  wife 
of  Clarence  Jaqua,  of  Chicago;  Alice  E.,  the 
wife  of  E.  P.  Bixby,  of  Kansas;  Clarence  M., 
who  is  also  living  in  the  Sunflower  state;  and 
Frank  L.,  the  third  in  order  of  birth. 

In  the  public  schools  of  his  native  town 
Frank  L.  Douglas  acquired  his  education  and 
at  the  age  of  nineteen  years  went  to  Kansas, 
where  he  engaged  in  merchandising  ^ith  his 
father  at  Blue  Rapids.  He  was  also  engaged 
in  teaming  on  the  plains  for  three  years  and 
then  turned  his  attention  to  farming,  entering 
a  claim  on  a  quarter  section  of  land  in  Mitchell 
county,  Kansas,  whereon  he  remained  for  nine 
years.  In  1884  he  arrived  in  Watertown  town- 
ship, Clinton  county,  Michigan,  and  settled  on 
section  17,  purchasing  one  hundred  and  forty- 
seven  acres  of  land,  whereon  he  now  resides. 
In  the  fall  of  1895  he  started  with  his  wife 
and  son  Bruce  to  Fitzgerald,  Georgia,  travel- 
ing the  entire  distance  by  team  and  reaching  his 
destination  after  ten  weeks  spent  upon  the  road. 
The  object  of  the  trip  made  in  this  manner  was 
to  benefit  the  health  of  the  son.  For  six  years 
they  remained  in  the  south,  during  which  time 
Mr.  Douglas  was  for  one  year  an  enlisted 
soldier  of  the  Spanish-American  war.  He  was 
not  sent  to  the  islands,  however,  but  remained 
at  Tampa,  Florida;  Huntsville,  Alabama,  and 
at  Chickamauga  Park.  He  was  in  the  quarter- 
master's department  with  Company  D,  of  the 
Fifth  Maryland  regiment  and  the  depot  quar- 
termaster's department.  On  again  coming 
north  Mr.  Douglas  visited  the  Pan-American 
Exposition  at  Buffalo  and  then  returned  to  the 
farm  in  Watertown  township  whereon  he  has 
since  resided.  His  attention  has  been  given  in 
undivided  manner  to  the  improvement  and 
cultivation  of  the  farm  and  he  now  has  fine 
property.  His  house  was  burned  to  the  ground 
on  the  1 6th  of  December,  1904,  and  in  the 
summer  of  1905  he  erected  another  residence 
at  a  cost  of  thirty-five  hundred  dollars.     It  is 


a  fine  country  home,  supplied  with  all  modern 
equipments  and  tastefully  furnished.  There  are 
also  good  outbuildings  upon  the  place  and  every 
facility  needed  to  carry  on  the  farm  work. 

On  the  30th  of  November,  1881,  Mr. 
Douglas  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Addie 
C,  daughter  of  William  and  Cordelia  (Gates) 
Douglas,  of  Avon,  New  York.  She  was  born 
in  Lima,  that  state,  and  her  parents  were  also 
natives  of  western  New  York.  Her  father  died 
June  16,  1899,  at  the  age  of  seventy-nine  years, 
while  his  wife  passed  away  in  1893,  at  the  age 
of  seventy-four  years.  Mrs.  Douglas  of  this 
review  was  their  only  daughter,  and  was  born 
August  17,  1850.  There  has  been  one  child 
of  this  marriage,  Bruce  Bryant  Douglas,  who 
was  educated  in  the  high  school  of  St.  Johns. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Douglas  is  a  re- 
publican and  fraternally  is  connected  with  the 
Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  of  which 
he  is  past  grand;  and  the  Maccabees  tent,  of 
which  he  is  senior  past  commander,  while  his 
wife  is  the  senior  past  commander  of  the  hive 
of  the  same  order.  He  is  a  progressive  citizen, 
keeping  in  touch  with  modern  progress  along 
agricultural  lines  and  is  a  man  of  genial  dis- 
position, whose  many  good  traits  of  character 
have  gained  for  him  the  warm  regard  of  a  large 
circle  of  friends. 


HIRAM  E.  HOWELL. 

Hiram  E.  Howell  resides  on  section  9, 
Dewitt  township,  where  he  owns  and  operates 
a  neat  and  an  attractive  farm  of  sixty  acres. 
He  is  numbered  among  the  old  settlers  of  the 
state,  for  his  residence  in  Michigan  dates  from 
1843  an(l  since  1870  he  has  lived  in  Clinton 
county.  He  was  born  in  Seneca  county,  New 
York,  March  11,  1840.  His  father,  Isaac 
Howell,  was  a  native  of  the  Empire  state,  where 
he  spent  his  youth  and  was  married  to  Anna 
Bloodgood,  also  a  native  of  New  York.  In 
1843  ne  removed  to  Michigan  with  his  family, 
settling  in  Genesee  county  in  the  midst  of  the 
forest,  where  he  hewed  out  a  farm.     He  had 


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to  cut  down  the  timber  from  his  land  and  clear 
away  the  brush  before  he  could  plow  and  plant 
the  fields  but  in  the  course  of  years  he  opened 
up  a  good  farm  of  eighty  acres.  Later  he  sold 
this  property  and  removed  to  Flint,  where  he  re- 
sided until  his  death.  In  his  family  were  twelve 
children,  all  of  whom  grew  to  manhood  or 
womanhood  and  the  youngest,  Martin,  was  a 
soldier  of  the  Union  army  in  the  Civil  war  and 
was  killed  in  the  service.  H.  E.  Howell  and 
three  sisters  are  the  surviving  members  of  the 

family. 

Mr.  Howell  of  this  review  spent  the  days 
of  his  boyhood  and  youth  in  Genesee  county 
and  after  mastering  the  common  branches  of 
learning  in  the  public  schools  he  attended  the 
high  school  at  Flint.  He  remained  with  his 
father  throughout  the  period  of  his  youth  or 
until  1 86 1,  when  on  the  4th  of  December  of  that 
year  he  responded  to  his  country's  call  for  aid 
and  joined  the  boys  in  blue  of  Company  I, 
Tenth  Michigan  Infantry.  He  then  went  south 
and  joined  the  Army  of  the  Tennessee  under 
General  Thomas.  After  participating  in  the 
battle  of  Corinth,  Mississippi,  the  regiment  pro- 
ceeded to  Tennessee  and  Mr.  Howell  was  in  the 
last  battle  at  Nashville,  having  in  the  meantime 
participated  in  the  engagements  of  Stone  River, 
Missionary  Ridge,  Lookout  Mountain,  Tunnel 
Hill,  Buzzard's  Roost  and  many  others  of  less 
importance.  Having  served  for  three  years,  he 
re-enlisted  as  a  veteran  and  was  granted  a  fur- 
lough of  thirty  days,  after  which  he  rejoined 
his  regiment  at  Resaca,  Georgia,  and  partici- 
pated in  the  battle  there.  Later  he  went  on 
the  Atlanta  campaign  and  assisted  in  the  cap- 
ture of  Jonesboro  and  Atlanta,  two  of  the  im- 
portant southern  strongholds,  and  following  the 
capitulation  of  the  latter  city  he  went  with  Sher- 
man on  the  celebrated  march  to  the  sea,  partici- 
pating in  the  battle  of  Raleigh,  North  Carolina. 
After  the  surrender  of  General  Lee  he  marched 
with  his  command  through  Richmond  and  on 
to  Washington,  D.  C,  where  he  participated  in 
the  grand  review,  which  was  the  event  that 
signalized  the  closing  of  the  war.  He  lost  no 
time  from  the  service  on  account  of  illness,  for 
he  was  never  in  the  hospital  and  after  receiving 


an  honorable  discharge  at  Jackson,  Michigan, 
in  1865  he  returned  to  his  home,  having  made 
a  splendid  record  as  a  soldier. 

Mr.  Howell  then  went  to  Flint,  where  he 
rested  for  a  time  after  the  arduous  life  of  the 
campaigner.  He  is  a  blacksmith  by  trade  and 
when  he  had  somewhat  recuperated  after  his 
military  experience  he  worked  with  his  brother 
at  his  trade  in  Flint.  In  1870  he  came  to 
Clinton  county,  settling  on  the  farm  where  he 
now  resides.  He  also  opened  a  blacksmith  shop 
on  this  place  and  did  work  for  the  people  of  the 
neighborhood.  His  attention,  however,  has 
been  chiefly  given  to  his  agricultural  pursuits 
and  he  now  has  a  good  farm  property,  which  in 
its  neat  and  thrifty  appearance  indicates  his 
careful  supervision  and  practical  methods. 

In  1870  Mr.  Howell  was  united  in  marriage 
to  Miss  Maggie  Irish,  a  native  of  New  York, 
where  her  girlhood  days  were  passed.  The 
present  Howell  farm  was  formerly  the  old 
Irish  homestead  and  here  Mr.  Howell  has  car- 
ried on  both  blacksmithing  and  agricultural 
pursuits,  making  substantial  improvements  on 
the  land,  including  the  erection  of  a  good  resi- 
dence. In  politics  he  has  been  a  lifelong  re- 
publican, casting  his  first  presidential  ballot  for 
Abraham  Lincoln  while  serving  in  the  army 
in  1864.  He  has  never  sought  or  desired  office 
but  was  elected  and  for  one  term  acted  as  high- 
way commissioner.  He  belongs  to  the  Grand 
Army  post  at  Dewitt,  of  which  he  has  been  com- 
mander, and  has  the  warm  regard  of  his  old 
army  comrades  and  of  the  general  public  as 
well. 


ALONZO  WEBSTER. 

Alonzo  Webster,  a  representative  and  sub- 
stantial agriculturist  of  Bath  township,  having 
a  farm  on  sections  8  and  9,  where  he  owns 
and  operates  one  hundred  and  sixty-six  acres 
of  well  improved  land,  was  born  in  Oakland 
county,  Michigan,  on  the  22A  of  October,  1848. 
His  father,  John  Webster,  is  mentioned  on 
another  page  of  this  work  in  connection  with 
the  sketch  of  Mervin  Webster,  who  is  a  brother 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


of  our  subject.  In  the  year  1867  Alonzo 
Webster  accompanied  his  parents  on  their  re- 
moval to  this  county  and  the  remainder  of  his 
minority  was  passed  upon  the  farm  where  he 
now  resides.  He  and  his  brother  Mervin 
cleared,  improved  and  made  this  farm,  but  later 
he  worked  out  by  the  month  as  a  farm  hand 
for  a  few  years.  He  then  returned  to  the  old 
homestead,  bought  the  interest  of  the  other  heirs 
in  the  property  and  succeeded  to  the  owner- 
ship of  the  place.  He  has  built  a  good  resi- 
dence here,  also  substantial  barns  and  other 
necessary  outbuildings.  A  good  orchard  of  his 
own  planting  yields  its  fruits  in  season  and  the 
well  kept  fields  are  divided  by  fences  which  he 
has  built.  He  has  altogether  a  valuable  farm, 
equipped  with  modern  accessories  and  con- 
veniences. 

Mr.  Webster  was  married,  in  Bath  township, 
April  20,  1876,  to  Miss  Lucetta  Wilson, 
whose  birth  occurred  in  Livingston  county, 
Michigan,  and  who  is  a  daughter  of  John  W. 
Wilson,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Livingston 
county.  He  became  a  soldier  of  the  Union 
army  at  the  time  of  the  Civil  war  and  laid 
down  his  life  on  the  altar  of  his  country.  Mrs. 
Webster  was  reared  in  Livingston  and  Clinton 
counties  and  is  a  lady  of  good  education,  who 
for  some  years  prior  to  her  marriage  engaged 
in  teaching.  She  has  become  the  mother  of 
three  children ;  Willard,  a  young  man  at  home, 
who  in  connection  with  his  father,  owns  and 
operates  two  hundred  and  twenty-four  acres  of 
land ;  Ruth,  who  was  formerly  a  capable  teacher 
of  Clinton  county,  but  was  married  August 
30,  1905,  to  Francis  Eschtruth,  of  this  county; 
and  Elmer,  with  his  parents. 

In  early  life  Mr.  Webster  gave  his  political 
allegiance  to  the  democracy  but  is  now  a  stal- 
wart republican  and  supported  William  Mc- 
Kinley  and  Theodore  Roosevelt  for  the  presi- 
dency. He  was  elected  and  served  for  one  year 
as  supervisor  of  Bath  township  and  served  on 
the  committee  on  public  buildings  and  also  on 
other  important  committees.  For  four  or  five 
years  he  was  township  treasurer,  called  to  the 
office  by  popular  vote,  and  for  a  quarter  of  a 
century  has  been  a  member  of  the  school  board. 


V 


He  has  likewise  served  as  moderator  and  dis- 
trict clerk  and  his  long  continuance  in  office 
is  proof  of  his  capability  and  fidelity  to  the 
general  welfare.  He  and  his  wrife  are  loyal 
and  valued  members  of  the  Methodist  Episco- 
pal church,  in  which  he  is  serving  as  one  of 
the  trustees  and  stewards.  He  is  likewise  a 
member  of  Bath  lodge,  No.  124,  I.  O.  O.  F., 
has  filled  all  of  its  chairs  and  is  past  grand, 
while  in  the  grand  lodge  of  the  state  he  has 
been  a  representative.  Both  he  and  his  wife 
are  connected  with  Rebekah  lo!dge,  of  which  she 
is  a  very  prominent  member,  has  filled  all  of  its 
chairs  and  is  past  noble  grand.  They  are  both 
highly  esteemed,  the  circle  of  their  friends  being 
co-extensive  with  the  circle  of  their  acquaint- 
ance. 


ELI  A.  SMITH. 


A  farm  of  one  hundred  acres,  well  improved 
and  highly  cultivated,  is  the  property  of  Eli 
A.  Smith  and  lies  on  section  23,  Lebanon  town- 
ship. Since  1875  Mr.  Smith  has  made  his 
home  in  Clinton  county,  coming  to  the  west 
from  Pennsylvania,  his  native  state.  He  was 
born  in  York  county,  April  3,  1854,  and  is  a 
son  of  William  C.  Smith,  a  native  of  Mary- 
land, who  when  a  lad  went  to  Pennsylvania  and 
was  there  reared.  In  that  state  he  wedded 
Catherine  Florea,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  and 
he  followed  farming  in  York  county  for  some- 
time, after  which  he  removed  to  Seneca  county, 
Ohio,  where  he  carried  on  general  agricultural 
pursuits  for  five  years.  In  1865  he  came  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Clinton  county,  where  he 
bought  eighty  acres  of  land,  after  which  he  be- 
gan its  cultivation  and  improvement.  Eventu- 
ally he  sold  that  property  and  returned  to  the 
Buckeye  state,  but  after  a  year  again  came  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Gratiot  county,  where  he 
spent  his  remaining  days.  .His  wife  also  passed 
away  there  in  1888.  Their  family  numbered 
four  sons  and  four  daughters  and  with  the  ex- 
ception of  one  daughter  all  are  yet  living. 

Eli  A.  Smith  was  reared  in  Essex  and 
Lebanon  townships  and  at  an  early  age  started 


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out  in  life  on  his  own  account,  working  by  the 
month  as  a  farm  hand  for  seven  years.  He  was 
married  in  Essex  township  on  the  2d  of  March, 
1878,  to  Miss  Susan  Ridenour,  a  native  of  that 
township  and  a  daughter  of  John  Ridenour,  one 
of  the  early  settlers  of  Ohio.  The  young  couple 
located  on  a  forty  acre  farm,  which  he  had 
previously  purchased  in  Dallas  township,  but 
after  cultivating  that  tract  for  about  a  year  Mr. 
Smith  sold  the  property  and  bought  forty  acres 
where  he  now  resides  on  section  23,  Lebanon 
township.  He  then  turned  his  attention  to 
cultivating  and  improving  this  tract  and  when 
his  financial  resources  made  possible  the  pur- 
chase of  additional  land  he  extended  the 
boundaries  of  his  farm  until  he  now  has  one 
hundred  acres,  all  in  one  body.  He  has  built  a 
neat  brick  residence  which  is  surrounded  by  a 
well  kept  lawn  enclosed  in  an  iron  fence.  There 
are  cement  walks  about  the  place  and  in  fact 
this  is  one  of  the  fine  country  homes  of  the 
township,  having  modern  conveniences  and 
tasteful  furnishings,  while  its  hospitality  is 
most  enjoyable,  being  freely  and  graciously 
accorded  to  the  many  friends  of  the  family. 
Mr.  Smith  has  also  built  two  large  barns,  a 
good  granary  and  tool  house,  has  sunk  a  deep 
well,  put  in  a  wind  pump  and  has  added  other 
modern  equipments,  including  the  latest  im- 
proved machinery. 

The  home  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Smith  has  been 
blessed  with  five  children:  Mrs.  Valma  Lyon, 
who  formerly  engaged  in  teaching  and  now  re- 
sides with  her  father,  having  one  son,  Harold 
Lyon;  Myrtie  M.,  the  wife  of  Burt  Hiner,  a 
farmer  living  on  land  adjoining  her  father's 
place;  and  William  John  and  Herman  E.,  both 
at  home.  They  lost  their  first  born,  Sylvia  A., 
who  died  at  the  age  of  ten  months. 

Politically  Mr.  Smith  is  a  republican,  in- 
terested in  the  party  and  its  success  and  doing 
all  in  his  power  to  promote  its  progress  and 
secure  the  adoption  of  its  principles.  He  was 
elected  and  served  as  drain  commissioner  and 
acted  as  justice  of  the  peace  for  a  year  to  fill  out 
a  vacancy  but  has  never  been  active  as  a  poli- 
tician, preferring  to  give  his  undivided  atten- 
tion to  his  business  interests.  He  is  a  member 
13 


of  the  Grange,  of  the  Lebanon  Farmers'  Club 
and  of  three  fraternal  insurance  companies,  in- 
cluding the  Maccabees  and  Northwestern  In- 
surance Company.  His  life  is  characterized  by 
industry  and  unabating  energy  and  everything 
about  his  place  is  characterized  by  system  and 
order.  He  is,  moreover,  a  self-made  man,  who 
as  a  farm  hand  started  out  in  life  on  his  own 
account  and  has  gradually  worked  his  way 
upward  and  now  has  valuable  property  interests. 


JOHN  FIZZELL. 


John  Fizzell,  living  on  section  17,  Duplain 
township,  is  one  of  the  active,  thrifty  and  pros- 
perous farmers,  owning  and  operating  a  valu- 
able and  well  improved  tract  of  land  of  eighty 
acres.  He  has  been  an  interested  witness  of  the 
progress  and  development  of  Clinton  county 
since  187 1  and  since  1866  has  made  his  home 
in  Michigan.  He  is  a  native  of  Canada,  hav- 
ing been  born  in  Ontario,  on  the  3d  of  March, 
1854.  He  is  a  son  of  William  Fizzell  and  a 
brother  of  William  Fizzell,  Jr.,  whose  sketch 
appears  elsewhere  in  this  work.  With  his  par- 
ents he  came  to  Michigan  in  1866,  being  then 
a  youth  of  eight  years,  the  family  home  being 
established  in  Wayne  county,  where  he  was 
reared  to  manhood,  acquiring  his  education  in 
the  public  schools  of  Wayne  and  Clinton 
counties.  He  remained  with  his  father  on  the 
farm  until  he  had  attained  his  majority  and  as 
his  age  and  strength  permitted  more  and  more 
largely  assisted  in  the  work  of  the  fields.  He 
first  began  earning  his  own  living  by  working 
as  a  farm  hand  by  the  month  and  in  that 
capacity  he  was  employed  for  several  years 
and  during  that  period  he  saved  his  earnings. 
Later  he  and  his  brother  William  bought 
eighty  acres  of  land  together,  each  having  forty 
acres,  and  John  Fizzell  began  to  clear,  fence 
and  open  up  his  farm.  Afterward  he  bought 
another  tract  of  twenty  acres  and  still  later 
twenty  acres  additional,  so  that  he  now  has  a 
good  farm  of  eighty  acres,  on  which  he  has 
built  a  substantial  and  neat  residence,  also  good 

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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


barns  and  outbuildings.  He  has  likewise 
planted  an  orchard,  fenced  the  place  and  divided 
it  into  fields  of  convenient  size,  which  are  now 
cleared  of  stumps  and  yield  rich  harvests  an- 
nually. 

On  the  nth  of  November,  1879,  Mr.  Fizzell 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Alice  Avery, 
a  daughter  of  T.  C.  Avery,  formerly  of  New 
York.  Mfs.  Fizzell  was  reared  and  educated 
in  Michigan,  however,  and  by  her  marriage  has 
become  the  mother  of  two  children,  Charles  C. 
and  Ruby.  They  also  have  an  adopted  child, 
Emery,  who  became  a  member  of  the  household 
in  infancy  at  the  time  of  the  mother's  death, 
Mrs.  Fizzell  being  his  aunt. 

Politically  Mr.  Fizzell  is  an  earnest  repub- 
lican, who  keeps  well  informed  on  the  ques- 
tions and  issues  of  the  day,  but  has  never  sought 
or  cared  for  office,  preferring  to  give  his  time 
and  attention  to  his  business  interests,  in  which 
he  is  meeting  with  signal  success.  He  and  his 
wife  are  consistent  members  of  the  Duplain 
Methodist  Episcopal  church,  of  which  Mr.  Fiz- 
zell is  one  of  the  trustees.  He  is  likewise  a 
Sunday-school  worker  and  has  served  as  su- 
perintendent of  the  Sunday-school  for  three 
years,  while  his  wife  has  been  a  teacher  in  the 
school.  He  belongs  to  the  local  Grange,  of 
which  he  is  now  master,  and  he  maintains  a 
deep  and  helpful  interest  in  every  movement 
and  measure  that  is  calculate^!  to  benefit  the 
material,  intellectual  or  moral  progress  of  the 
community.  He  has  lived  a  life  of  uprightness 
and  honor  and  in  the  years  of  his  residence  in 
Clinton  county,  covering  more  than  a  third 
of  a  century,  he  has  enjoyed  in  full  measure  the 
trust  of  his  fellowmen. 


ALEXANDER  W.  MORRISON. 

Alexander  W.  Morrison  started  out  in  life 
on  his  own  account  when  only  thirteen  years 
of  age.  To-day  he  is  a  prosperous  citizen  of 
St.  Johns,  living  retired  with  a  competence  that 
surrounds  him  with  all  of  the  comforts  and 
many  of  the  luxuries  that  go  to  make  life  worth 


the  living.  He  is  a  native  son  of  Michigan, 
and  a  typical  representative  of  the  west,  be- 
longing to  that  class  to  whom  the  great  middle 
section  of  the  country  owes  its  late  progress  and 
advancement.  He  was  born  April  2,  1842,  his 
parents  being  Hamilton  and  Jane  (McKee) 
Morrison.  The  father  was  born  in  Glasgow, 
Scotland,  and  his  wife  was  a  native  of  Catskill, 
Newr  York.  Their  married  life  was  spent  in 
Michigan,  having  removed  from  Albany,  New 
York,  to  this  state  about  1837.  They  lived  for 
a  time  in  Detroit,  after  which  they  took  tip 
their  abode  in  a  house  that  stood  on  the  present 
site  of  the  Hudson  store  in  that  city.  The 
father  was  foreman  of  the  Michigan  Central 
Railroad  Company  there  for  forty  years  or 
more.  Unto  him  and  his  wife  were  born  six 
children,  of  whom  George  H.  and  Alexander 
W.  are  now  living,  while  those  who  have 
passed  away  are  Hamilton,  Mary,  Charlotte  and 
Addie. 

Alexander  W.  Morrison  had  little  oppor- 
tunity to  acquire  an  education.  He  lived  at 
home  until  1856,  when  at  the  age  of  thirteen 
years  he  entered  the  employ  of  the  Michigan 
Central  Railroad  Company,  working  for  fifty 
cents  per  day  in  the  truck  department.  He  con- 
tinued there  through  the  summer  and  in  the 
late  autumn  entered  school,  pursuing  his  studies 
through  the  winter  months.  In  the  spring  of 
1857  he  went  on  an  expedition  to  Lake  Su- 
perior and  assisted  in  building  a  store  house  at 
Houghton  for  the  Franklin  mine.  After  six 
weeks  in  that  district  he  returned  to  Detroit 
and  secured  work  at  trucking  on  the  docks.  His 
duty  was  the  weighing  of  freight  and  the  su- 
pervision of  the  loading  of  lumber  going  over 
the  Michigan  Central  Railroad  from  the 
various  mills.  In  the  meantime  the  Grand 
Trunk  Railroad  was  built  and  Mr.  Morrison 
was  given  the  position  to  look  after  its  yard 
and  keep  it  clear  of  lumber.  In  this  capacity 
he  had  supervision  over  twelve  men.  He  loaded 
the  first  cars  there  that  were  sent  east  over  the 
Grand  Trunk  line.  He  had  charge  of  the  docks 
and  receipted  for  all  cargoes  coming  to  the 
docks  and  at  times  employed  fifty  men. 

Mr.  Morrison  was  thus  engaged  until  after 


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ALEXANDER  W.   MORRISON. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  war,  when  he  enlisted 
as  a  member  of  Company  H,  Twenty-fourth 
Michigan  regiment,  joining  the  army  as  a 
private.  He  was  mustered  in  in  July,  1862,  at 
Detroit,  under  Captain  Warren  A.  Vinton,  and 
participated  in  two  important  engagements  at 
Fredericksburg  and  the  hotly  contested  battle  of 
Gettysburg,  and  in  all  of  the  principal  battles 
of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac.  He  was  under 
fire  at  Antietam  and  with  Grant  at  Petersburg. 
On  his  arrival  at  Petersburg  on  the  skirmish 
line  he  threw  himself  into  a  pit,  laying  there  all 
day  with  the  shells  flying  over  him.  At  this 
time  he  was  made  orderly  and  was  attached  to 
General  Bragg's  staff  until  February  7,  1865, 
when  at  Danby's  Mills  he  was  taken  prisoner, 
being  engaged  at  that  time  in  carrying  orders 
for  General  Bragg.  Being  captured  he  was 
sent  to  Richmond  and  placed  in  the  Pemberton 
prison,  where  he  remained  for  four  days,  when 
he  came  under  general  parole  of  all  prisoners  of 
the  United  States  and  went  to  Annapolis, 
being  sent  thence  to  Columbus,  Ohio,  where  he 
was  given  thirty  days'  furlough,  which  period 
he  spent  in  Detroit.  In  the  meantime  his  regi- 
ment was  sent  to  Springfield,  Illinois,  to  take 
charge  of  Camp  Butler  and  on  the  expiration 
of  his  time  of  furlough  Mr.  Morrison  rejoined 
his  regiment  at  Springfield  and  soon  afterward 
went  to  New  York  city  with  a  carload  of 
troops  to  Bedloe's  Island.  After  two  days  he 
was  detailed  and  returned  to  Toledo,  Ohio,  and 
on  to  Springfield,  Illinois.  When  on  the  way 
to  New  York  he  learned  of  the  assassination  of 
President  Lincoln,  the  news  being  received  at 
Toledo,  and  when  he  returned  to  the  Illinois 
capital  he  attended  the  funeral  of  the  martyred 
president,  his  regiment  acting  as  escort  on  that 
occasion.  Leaving  Springfield  he  went  to  De- 
troit, where  he  was  mustered  out  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1865.  At  the  celebration  held  at  Get- 
tysburg, Mr.  Morrison  was  the  only  man 
eligible  to  carry  the  brigade  flag,  which  was 
brought  from  Madison,  Wisconsin,  for  the  oc- 
casion and  which  had  been  purchased  at  a  cost 
of  five  hundred  dollars  and  presented  to  the 
brigade  by  residents  of  Indiana,  Michigan  and 
Wisconsin. 


When  the  war  was  over  Mr.  Morrison  re- 
turned to  Detroit  and  again  entered  the  railroad 
service,  having  charge  of  a  gang  of  men  un- 
loading flour,  pork  and  freight,  which  was 
being  shipped  east  by  water  through  the  lakes. 
He  occupied  that  position  for  three  years,  when 
Captain  Ward,  of  Chicago,  offered  him  a  posi- 
tion which  he  refused,  and  again  he  entered  the 
truck  department  with  increased  wages,  filling 
the  position  for  four  years. 

In  1874  Mr.  Morrison  returned  to  St.  Johns, 
where  he  embarked  in  the  restaurant  business 
on  Clinton  avenue,  being  thus  engaged  for  three 
years.  He  then  returned  to  Detroit  and  for  a 
year  was  on  the  police  force,  after  which  he 
once  more  took  up  his  abode  in  St.  Johns  and 
purchased  a  lot  where  his  present  fine  brick 
block  now  stands.  He  again  opened  a  restaur- 
ant and  within  two  years  had  discharged  all  his 
financial  obligations  on  the  property  which  he 
had  purchased  and  made  additions  to  the  store, 
continuing  its  improvement  until  the  present 
large  brick  business  block  was  completed.  He 
conducted  his  restaurant  with  excellent  success 
for  fourteen  years,  his  capable  management  and 
keen  business  discrimination  gaining  for  him  a 
merited  degree  of  prosperity.  He  then  retired 
to  look  after  his  other  business  interests  and  is 
now  giving  general  supervision  to  his  invest- 
ments. 

Mr.  Morrison  was  married,  in  1865,  to  Miss 
Sarah  Bush,  a  daughter  of  Hiram  Bush,  of 
Detroit,  and  she  died  in  1867,  at  the  age  of 
twenty-six  years.  In  1878  he  married  Anna 
Lewis,  of  Detroit,  a  native  of  Springfield,  Mas- 
sachusetts. Mr.  Morrison  belongs  to  Grisson 
post,  G.  A.  R.,  thus  maintaining  pleasant  re- 
lations with  his  old  army  comrades.  He 
manifests  an  active  interest  in  the  leading  af- 
fairs of  the  day.  Surrounded  in  his  home  by 
those  who  are  his  warm  personal  friends  and 
favorably  known  in  other  sections  of  the  state, 
his  career  is  one  to  which  his  family  and  his 
friends  may  refer  with  just  pride.  Endowed 
by  nature  with  a  sound  judgment  and  an  ac- 
curate discriminating  mind  he  has  not  feared 
that  laborious  attention  to  business  so  necessary 
to   achieve  success   and   this   essential   quality 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


has  been  guided  by  a  sense  of  right,  which 
would  tolerate  the  employment  only  of  the 
means  that  will  bear  closest  investigation  and 
scrutiny. 


WILLIAM  H.  CASTLE. 

The  inherent  force  of  character  which  en- 
abled William  H.  Castle  to  work  his  way 
through  college  has  also  brought  him  gratifying 
success  as  a  member  of  the  bar  of  Clinton 
county.  He  resides  in  St.  Johns  and  is  a  native 
of  Washtenaw  county,  Michigan,  born  March 
1 8,  1846.  His  parents,  William  and  Betsey 
(Stevens)  Castle,  were  natives  of  New  York 
and  Massachusetts  respectively  and  were  mar- 
ried in  Michigan.  The  father  came  to  this  state 
in  1837,  settling  in  Washtenaw  county,  and  in 
1 85 1  he  removed  to  Montcalm  county,  this 
state,  where  he  carried  on  general  agricultural 
pursuits.  He  served  as  supervisor  there  and 
was  somewhat  prominent  in  public  affairs.  He 
died  in  1888,  at  the  advanced  age  of  seventy- 
six  years,  while  his  wife  passed  away  in  1900, 
at  the  age  of  eighty-two  years.  Little  is  known 
concerning  the  ancestral  history  of  the  family 
save  that  Amos  Castle,  the  paternal  grand- 
father, was  a  resident  of  the  state  of  New  York, 
while  Joseph  Stevens,  the  maternal  grandfather, 
lived  for  some  years  in  Massachusetts  and  after- 
ward became  a  pioneer  resident  of  Washtenaw 
county,  Michigan.  Subsequently  he  removed 
to  Montcalm  county,  settling  in  Bushnell 
township,  where  he  died  in  1863,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-three  years. 

William  H.  Castle  began  his  education  in  the 
district  schools,  having  the  privilege  of  attend- 
ing for  only  about  two  months  during  a  three 
months'  winter  term  until  seventeen  years  of 
age,  for  his  services  were  largely  needed  upon 
the  home  farm  and  he  worked  in  the  fields 
from  the  time  of  early  spring  planting  until 
after  crops  were  harvested  in  the  late  autumn. 
There  came  a  decided  change  in  his  life,  how- 
ever, in  January,  1864,  at  which  time  he  was 
mustered  into  the  Union  army  as  a  member  of 
Company    F,    First    Michigan    Cavalry,    with 


whom  he  served  for  a  year  and  a  half,  being 
mustered  out  on  the  15th  of  June,  1865.  He 
came  home  on  parole  and  was  discharged  by 
telegraph  order  which  was  sent  to  all  sick  and 
wounded  soldiers.  He  had  been  wounded  in 
the  left  shoulder  March  31,  1865,  while  the 
army  was  on  the  move  supporting  General 
Grant  near  Pittsburg,  Virginia.  He  afterward 
lay  in  the  hospital  at  Camp  Stoneman  for  two 
and  a  half  months,  after  which  he  rejoined  his 
regiment  and  was  in  the  campaign  under 
General  Sheridan.  He  took  part  in  many  im- 
portant engagements,  including  the  battle  of 
Winchester  where  Sheridan  made  his  famous 
ride  and  rallied  the  Union  forces,  the  day  which 
first  threatened  defeat  ending  in  a  glorious 
victory.  He  was  also  in  the  battle  of  Cedar 
Creek. 

Following  the  war  Mr.  Castle  remained  upon 
the  home  farm  until  1869,  when  he  entered  the 
Union  school  at  Greenville,  Michigan.  A  year 
later  he  engaged  in  teaching  for  one  term  and 
then  resumed  his  studies  in  Union  school,  after 
which  he  again  became  an  instructor.  In  1871 
he  pursued  a  classical  course  at  Union  school 
at  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan,  and  in  1873  entered 
the  law  department  of  the  State  University, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  in  the  spring  of 
1874,  when  twenty-eight  years  of  age.  He  had 
to  work  his  way  through  college,  but  he  ever 
developed  his  latent  talents  and  resources  and 
displayed  the  elemental  strength  of  his  char- 
acter. Following  his  graduation  and  his  ad- 
mission to  the  bar  he  opened  an  office  for  prac- 
tice in  Ovid,  Michigan,  where  he  continued 
until  1885,  when  he  came  to  St.  Johns  and  has 
since  been  a  representative  of  the  legal  fra- 
ternity of  this  city.  He  has  been  connected 
with  much  important  litigation  tried  in  the 
courts  of  his  district  and  is  a  busy  lawyer.  He 
is  also  interested  in  farming  and,  having  pur- 
chased the  old  homestead,  is  now  the  owner  of 
a  valuable  farm  property. 

In  1874  Mr.  Castle  was  married  to  Miss 
Alice  E.  Nicholas,  a  daughter  of  Professor 
Benjamin  E.  Nichols,  who  is  connected  with 
the  public  schools  of  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan. 
She  is  a  lady  of  superior  education  and  intel- 


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lectual  attainments  and  with  her  husband  occu- 
pies an  enviable  position  in  social  circles  of  St. 
Johns.  They  have  one  son,  Earl  W.  Castle, 
Who  for  three  years  was  engaged  in  teaching 
at  Bessemer,  Michigan,  and  is  now  professor  of 
mathematics  at  Wittenberg  College,  Springfield, 
Ohio.  Politically  Mr.  Castle  is  a  Bryan 
democrat  and  previous  to  the  promulgation  of 
his  principles  by  the  Nebraska  statesman  he 
advocated  the  platform  of  the  greenback  party. 
In  the  fall  of  1874  he  was  elected  circuit  court 
commissioner  and  has  since  held  the  office  for 
four  terms.  In  manner  affable  and  obliging, 
ever  considerate  of  the  welfare  of  others,  his 
personal  characteristics  have  gained  him  a  large 
circle  of  warm  friends. 


DAVID  S.  FRENCH. 


David  S.   French,   a  well  known  represent- 
ative of  republican  circles  in  Clinton  county  and 
a    representative    of    agricultural    interests    in 
Greenbush  township,   was   born   in  Lawrence- 
burg,  Indiana,  April  4,  1844,  his  parents  being 
Lewis  and  Maria  (Sargent)  French,  the  former 
a  native  of  Virginia,  and  the  latter  of  Miami 
county,  Ohio.     David  French  became  a  student 
in   the  Woodward   high   school   at   Cincinnati 
but  his  education  was  abruptly  ended  by  the  out- 
break of  the  Civil  war.     He  had  watched  with 
interest  the  progress  of  events  in  the  south  and 
resolved   that    if    secession    was    attempted    he 
would  strike  a  blow  in  defense  of  the  Union. 
Accordingly  he  left  school  to  answer  his  coun- 
try's call  to  arms,  enlisting  as  a  private  in  the 
Second  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry,  in  which  he 
served  for  three  months.     On  the  expiration  of 
that  period  he  re-enlisted  as  a  private  of  the 
One  Hundred  and  Tenth  Ohio   Infantry  and 
remained  with   that  command  until   the   close 
of  the  war.     He  participated  in  thirty-five  dif- 
ferent   engagements    the    more    important    of 
which  were  Winchester,   Opequan,    Strasburg, 
Alltown,    Kernstown,    Cedar    Creek,    Fisher's 
Hill,     Stanton,     Monocacy,     Harper's     Ferry, 
Gettysburg,    Ream's    Station,    Manassas    Gap, 


Culpeper,  Brandy  Station,  Wilderness,  Cold 
Harbor,  Petersburg,  Richmond,  Mine  Run, 
Sailor's  Creek  and  Appomattox,  of  which  the 
latter  was  his  last  engagement.  His  regiment 
proceeded  to  Washington  to  be  mustered  out, 
which  event  occurred  on  the  1st  of  July,  1865. 
After  the  battle  of  Opequan  Mr.  French  was 
made  first  lieutenant  and  held  that  rank  through- 
out the  remainder  of  the  war.  He  seemed  to 
bear  a  charmed  existence  for  though  he  was 
often  in  the  thickest  of  the  fight  where  the  * 
leaden  hail  fell  thickest  he  was  never  wounded. 
His  regiment  was  attached  to  the  Sixth  Army 
Corps  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. 

After  receiving  his  final  discharge  Lieuten- 
ant French  returned  home  and  engaged  in  the 
lumber  business   in   Piqua,    Ohio,   until    1871. 
In  that  year  he  arrived  in  Clinton  county  and 
became  connected  with  the  St.   Johns  Manu- 
facturing   Company,     which    association    was 
maintained  until  June  15,  1899.     During  that 
time  he  purchased  a  farm  on  section  28,  Green- 
bush  township,   on  which  he  made  his  home, 
driving  to  his  place  of  business  each  morning. 
The  place  consists  of  three  hundred  and  twenty 
acres  four  miles  from  St.  Johns.    He  has  made 
nearly  all  of  the  improvements  upon  the  farm 
and    has    now    an    excellent    property,    in    the 
midst  of  which  stands  a  beautiful  home,  taste- 
fully and   richly   furnished  and  supplied  with 
all  the  comforts  that  go  to  make  life  worth 
living. 

On  the  24th  of  May,  1866,  Mr.  French  was 
married  to  Miss  Camelia  M.  Mitchell,  a  daugh- 
ter of  Joseph  M.  Mitchell,  of  Miami  county, 
Ohio.  There  were  two  children  by  this  mar- 
riage, but  Fanny  died  July  31,  1869,  and  Bes- 
sie L.  passed  away  April  18,  1882. 

Mr.  French  is  one  of  the  most  prominent 
representatives  of  the  republican  party  in  Clin- 
ton county.  In  1861  he  experienced  one  of 
the  proudest  moments  of  his  life  when  he  had 
the  honor  of  being  one  of  the  Cincinnati 
Zouaves  who  were  appointed  as  personal  escort 
to  Abraham  Lincoln  as  he  passed  through  the 
streets  of  the  city  on  his  way  to  Washington 
to  be  inaugurated  president  of  the  United 
States.     Mr.  French  has  been  called  to  various 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


206 

local  offices  of  honor  and  public  trust,  serving 
as  mayor  of  St.  Johns  in  1876,  1877  and  1878 
and  giving  to  the  city  a  public-spirited  ad- 
ministration characterized  by  the  same  fidelity, 
discrimination  and  devotion  to  his  duties  as  in 
the  conduct  of  his  private  business  interests. 
On  the  1st  of  January,  1897,  Mr.  French  was 
elected  county  treasurer  and  was  re-elected  each 
year  until  January  1,  1901.  He  has  for  many 
years  been  a  member  of  the  district  school  board 
and  over  his  official  record  there  falls  no 
shadow  of  wrong  or  suspicion  of  evil  for  his 
entire  public  service  has  been  characterized  by 
an  unfaltering  fidelity  to  the  general  good.  He 
is  a  member  of  St.  Johns  lodge,  No.  105,  A.  F. 
&  A.  M. ;  St.  Johns  chapter,  No.  45,  R.  A.  M. ; 
St.  Johns  commandery,  No.  24,  K.  T. ;  Moslem 
Temple  of  the  Mystic  Shrine  of  Detroit  and 
the  Michigan  Sovereign  Consistory.  He  like- 
wise belongs  to  Charles  E.  Grisson  post,  No. 
156,  G.  A.  R.,  of  St.  Johns,  of  which  he  is 
past  commander.  Mr.  French  possesses  the 
personal  qualities  that  have  made  him  a  suc- 
cessful business  man  and  honored  representative 
of  fraternal  interests  and  a  leader  in  political 
circles.  He  has  been  and  is  distinctively  a  man 
of  affairs  and  one  who  has  wielded  a  wide  in- 
fluence. 


WINFIELD  SCOTT  DILLS. 

Winfield  Scott  Dills  is  known  as  one  of  the 
representative  public  men  of  Dewitt  township, 
having  resided  in  this  county  for  more  than 
a  half  century,  winning  prominence  as 
the  champion  of  many  progressive  move- 
ments that  have  resulted  beneficially  for 
his  locality.  He  was  born  in  Oakland 
county,  this  state,  January  30,  1847.  His 
father,  William  Dills,  was  a  native  of  New 
York  and  is  mentioned  on  another  page  of  this 
work.  The  family  was  established  in  Oakland 
county  at  a  very  early  period  in  its  develop- 
ment and  William  Dills  was  married  there  to 
Maria  Hilliker,  a  native  of  the  Empire  state. 
In  1852  he  arrived  in  this  county,  settling  in 
Olive  township,  where  he  purchased  a  tract  of 


land  and  improved  a  farm.  He  afterward  sold 
that  place  and  now  resides  with  a  daughter  in 
Olive  township.  He  still  owns  a  forty-acre 
farm. 

Winfield  Scott  Dills  was  reared  in  this 
county  and  began  his  education  in  the  district 
schools  of  Olive  township,  continuing  his 
studies  in  the  public  schools  of  Dewitt.  No 
event  of  special  importance  occurred  to  vary  the 
routine  of  farm  life  for  him  in  his  youth  and 
he  assisted  in  carrying  on  the  home  place  until 
thirty-one  years  of  age.  He  was  married  in  the 
village  of  Dewitt  to  Miss  Ella  Amelia  Bowker, 
the  wedding  being  celebrated  February  20, 
1878.  Mrs.  Dills  is  a  native  of  New  York,  as 
was  her  father,  Albert  Bowker,,  who  in  early 
manhood  came  west  to  Michigan,  settling  in 
Albion,  where  he  was  married,  after  which  he 
returned  to  the  Empire  state.  Again  he  came 
to  Michigan  in  1861,  establishing  his  home  in 
Isabelle  county,  while  in  187 1  he  came  to  Clin- 
ton county.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dills  began  their 
domestic  life  upon  a  farm  in  Dewitt  township 
and  to  the  cultivation  of  his  land  he  devoted 
his  energies  for  a  number  of  years  but  in  1893 
purchased  a  lot  and  erected  a  good  residence  in 
the  village  where  he  now  resides.  He  sold 
eighty-four  acres  of  land  on  which  is  a  sub- 
stantial dwelling  and  other  improvements,  mak- 
ing it  a  valuable  place.  He  has  always  en- 
gaged in  buying  and  dealing  in  horses  since 
becoming  a  factor  in  business  life  and  has  been 
very  successful  as  a  stock  dealer  and  shipper. 
He  is  one  of  the  directors  and  managers  and 
also  collector  for  the  Grange  Insurance  Com- 
pany and  is  acting  on  its  auditing  board. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dills  have  two  sons :  Winfield 
Scott,  at  home;  and  Clair  B.,  a  farmer  of  Olive 
township,  who  is  married  and  has  one  son, 
Ernest  Ray.  In  his  political  affiliation  the  sub- 
ject of  this  review  is  a  republican  and  was  ap- 
pointed deputy  sheriff  for  Dewitt,  in  which 
position  he  served  for  a  time.  He  was  also 
elected  and  served  as  pathmaster  and  is  now 
overseer  of  highways  in  Dewitt  township,  filling 
the  last  named  office  for  more  than  seventeen 
years.  He  has  likewise  been  a  member  of  the 
school  board   for  a  number  of  years  and  his 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  W.  S.  DILLS. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF   CLINTON    COUNTY. 


209 


interest  in  general  progress  and  improvement  is 
that  of  a  public-spirited  citizen,  who  never  fails 
to  give  his  co-operation  to  measures  for  the 
general  good.  He  belongs  to  the  Grange,  in 
which  he  was  one  of  the  organizers.  He  has 
invested  in  considerable  real  estate  in  Dewitt 
and  now  owns  an  attractive  modern  home.  He 
is  well  known  in  Lansing  and  St.  Johns  and  in 
Clinton  and  adjoining  counties,  and  he  and  his 
estimable  wife  are  held  in  high  regard  by  all 
who  know  them. 


WILLIAM  J.  MOSS. 


William  J.  Moss,  living  on  section  33,  Essex 
township,  owns  the  old  Moss  homestead  farm 
of  one  hundred  and  thirty-five  acres.  It  was 
upon  this  farm  that  he  first  opened  his  eyes  to 
the  light  of  day  on  the  31st  of  August,  1875. 
His  father,  W.  J.  Moss,  Sr.,  was  a  native  of 
the  Empire  state,  born  in  Cayuga  county,  in 
1826,  and  a  son  of  Solomon  Moss,  who  was 
likewise  a  native  of  New  York.  The  family 
comes  of  English  ancestry  and  was  established 
in  the  new  world  at  an  early  period  in  its 
colonization,  the  first  representatives  of  the 
name  settling  in  Bedford,  Massachusetts,  in 
1668.  Later  generations  of  the  family  removed 
to  the  Empire  state,  where  Solomon  Moss  was 
born,  reared  and  married.  In  1840  he  removed 
westward  to  Michigan  and  made  a  permanent 
location  in  the  forests  of  Clinton  county,  where 
he  entered  a  tract  of  land,  from  which  he  and 
his  sons  cleared  away  the  timber  and  thus 
opened  up  a  farm.  William  Moss,  Sr.,  had  fair 
common-school  advantages  in  the  Empire  state 
and  after  coming  to  Clinton  county  engaged  in 
teaching  to  some  extent.  He  also  assisted  in  the 
arduous  task  of  developing  a  new  farm  and  was 
familiar  with  the  difficulties  and  hardships 
which  confronted  the  early  settlers  in  their  en- 
deavors to  reclaim  this  district  for  the  purposes 
of  civilization.  He  was  married  here  to  Miss 
Esther  Ann  Yound,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania 
and  a  daughter  of  Daniel  Yound,  who  on  leav- 
ing the  Keystone  state  went  to  Ohio,  whence  he 


afterward  came  to  Michigan,  settling  first  in 
Ionia  county.  William  Moss,  Sr.,  continued 
his  farming  operations,  built  a  good  neat  resi- 
dence and  barn,  and  also  added  other  equipments 
of  a  modern  farm.  Upon  this  place  he  reared 
his  family  and  continued  his  residence  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  May  18, 
1 89 1.  His  widow,  surviving  him  for  more  than 
ten  years,  passed  away  on  the  12th  of  Septem- 
ber, 1902.  In  their  family  were  five  children, 
of  whom  four  are  yet  living,  but  the  eldest, 
Charles,  who  was  reared  and  married  in  Clin- 
ton county,  died  February  14,  1889,  at  tne  age 
of  twenty-nine  years.  The  others  are  as  fol- 
lows: Kent,  who  is  a  farmer  of  Bengal  town- 
ship; Solomon,  of  Dawson,  Alaska;  Sarah,  the 
wife  of  Byron  Parr,  of  St.  Johns;  and  Wil- 
liam J. 

In  taking  up  the  personal  history  of  William 
J.  Moss  we  present  to  our  readers  the  life  record 
of  one  widely  and  favorably  known  in  this 
county  for  he  has  spent  his  entire  life  here  and 
has  ever  commanded  the  esteem  of  those  with 
whom  he  has  been  brought  in  contact.  He  was 
reared  upon  the  old  homestead  farm  and  after 
acquiring  his  early  education  in  the  public 
schools  continued  his  studies  in  St.  Johns  high 
school,  from  which  he  was  graduated  with  the 
class  of  1893.  He  then  returned  home  and  took 
charge  of  his  father's  farm  and  business.  As 
the  years  have  passed  he  has  further  improved 
the  place  and  while  he  still  occupies  the  old 
home  he  has  added  a  good  barn  and  fenced  the 
land  and  has  kept  everything  about  the  place 
in  neat  and  thrifty  condition,  annually  harvest- 
ing good  crops,  and  he  has  also  engaged  in 
breeding  and  raising  pure  blooded  Shorthorn 
cattle,  being  known  as  one  of  the  leading  stock- 
raisers  of  his  locality.  He  makes  a  study  of 
the  rotation  of  the  crops  and  the  needs  of  the 
farm,  carries  on  his  work  along  modern  lines 
and  is  an  active  and  interested  member  of  a 
number  of  farmers'  clubs,  wherein  is  dissemi- 
nated a  knowledge  of  the  best  methods  of  farm 
work  gleaned  from  the  experiences  and  experi- 
ments of  people  from  all  parts  of  the  country. 

Mr.  Moss  was  married  in  the  town  of  Essex, 
November  6,  1898,  to  Miss  Nellie  Parr,  a  na- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


tive  of  Clinton  county  and  a  daughter  of  Joseph 
Parr,  a  substantial  farmer  of  Essex  township. 
Mrs.  Moss  was  born,  reared  and  educated  in 
this  township  and  has  made  many  friends  dur- 
ing her  residence  in  this  county.  Fraternally 
Mr.  Moss  is  connected  with  Maple  Rapids 
lodge,  F.  &  A.  M.,  and  he  and  his  wife  belong 
to  the  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star.  He  votes 
with  the  democracy  and  was  elected  and  served 
as  supervisor  for  one  term  of  Essex  township, 
acting  as  a  member  of  the  drain,  appropriation 
and  other  committees.  His  entire  life  has  been 
passed  upon  the  farm  which  is  yet  his  home.  The 
land  was  entered  from  the  government  by  his 
grandfather,  Solomon  Moss,  and  the  title  has 
since  passed  from  father  to  son,  Mr.  Moss  of 
this  review  now  holding  the  original  patent 
signed  by  President  James  Monroe.  He  is  well 
known  in  St.  Johns  and  throughout  the  county, 
where  he  is  regarded  as  a  good  business  man 
and  farmer.  His  interest  in  the  welfare  and 
progress  of  this  part  of  the  state  is  deep  and 
sincere  and  his  co-operation  has  been  given  to 
many  measures  for  the  general  good. 


ADAM  C.  RUMBAUGH. 

Adam  C.  Rumbaugh,  one  of  the  thrifty  and 
prosperous  farmers  of  Clinton  county,  who  also 
owns  a  well  improved  farm  of  eighty  acres  in 
Saginaw  county  and  a  neat  little  place  of  three 
acres  in  Elsie  whereon  stands  his  residence,  has 
since  1879  made  his  home  in  Michigan.  A 
native  of  Ohio,  his  birth  occurred  in  Wayne 
county  on  the  20th  of  May,  1843.  The  ancestry 
of  the  family  can  be  traced  back  to  Germany, 
from  which  country  there  emigrated  to  the 
new  world  three  brothers,  Jacob,  David  and 
Solomon  Rumbaugh,  all  of  whom  settled  in 
Pennsylvania.  Later  Solomon  removed  to  Vir- 
ginia and  was  killed  there  by  the  Indians  prior 
to  the  Revolutionary  war.  David  settled  in 
Canada,  while  Jacob,  the  great-great-grand- 
father of  Adam  C.  Rumbaugh,  took  up  his 
abode  in  New  Jersey  and  later  lived  in  Penn- 
sylvania.     He   was   the   father  of   twenty-one 


children,  twenty  of  whom  reached  adult  age. 
Isaac  Rumbaugh  was  reared  in  Ohio,  spending 
his  youth  largely  in  Wayne  county.  His  father, 
Adam  Rumbaugh,  was  one  of  the  three  first 
settlers  of  Chester  township,  that  county,  and 
upon  the  old  homestead  there  Isaac  Rumbaugh 
was  reared.  His  wife,  Mary  Rumbaugh,  was 
a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  but  spent  her  girlhood 
largely  in  Ohio.  She  was  a  daughter  of  Daniel 
Rumbaugh  and  the  two  families  were  distantly 
related.  The  children  of  Isaac  and  Mary 
Rumbaugh  were  five  in  number,  of  whom  four 
are  living :  Susan,  the  wife  of  Wilson  Clemens, 
of  Altamont,  Illinois;  Daniel,  who  is  living  at 
Chicago  Junction,  Ohio;  Adam  C,  of  this  re- 
view; and  Elizabeth,  the  wife  of  Freeman 
Hoch,  of  Homerville,  Medina  county,  Ohio. 
After  losing  his  first  wife  the  father  married 
again. 

Adam  C.  Rumbaugh,  whose  name  introduces 
this  record,  spent  the  days  of  his  childhood  and 
youth  in  Wayne  county,  Ohio,  and  was  a 
student  in  the  public  schools  until  he  had  largely 
mastered  the  branches  of  learning  therein 
taught.  He  was  a  youth  of  nineteen  years  when 
he  responded  to  the  country's  call  for  aid,  en- 
listing on  the  15th  of  August,  1862,  as  a  mem- 
.  ber  of  Company  E,  One  Hundred  and 
Twentieth  Ohio  Infantry.  The  regiment  was 
assigned  to  the  western  department  and  the  first 
battle  in  which  he  participated  was  at  Cham- 
pion Hill.  Later  he  was  in  the  siege  of  Vicks- 
burg  and  was  present  at  its  surrender.  He  also 
aided  in  the  re-capture  of  Jackson,  in  the  battle 
of  Arkansas  Post,  and  did  active  service  in 
Texas  and  Louisiana  along  the  Red  river  and 
in  the  battle  of  Fort  Blakely.  For  about  two 
months  he  was  in  the  convalescent  camp  at  New 
Orleans  and  served  until  the  close  of  the  war, 
when  he  was  honorably  discharged  and  mus- 
tered out  at  Houston,  Texas,  on  the  14th  of 
October,  1865.  He  made  a  creditable  military 
record,  for  he  never  faltered  in  the  performance 
of  any  duty  whether  it  called  him  into  the  thick- 
est of  the  fight  or  stationed  him  on  the  lonely 
picket  line.  When  the  war  was  over  he  re- 
turned to  his  home  in  Ohio  and  was  engaged  in 
the  operation  of  the  old  homestead  farm  there 
for  three  years. 


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On  the  expiration  of  that  period  Mr.  Rum- 
baugh was  married  on  the  28th  of  December, 
1869,  to  Miss  Catherine  Shank,  whose  birth 
occurred  in  Wayne  county,  Ohio,  her  father, 
Daniel  Shank,  being  one  of  the  early  settlers  of 
the  state.  The  young  couple  began  their 
domestic  life  upon  a  rented  farm,  where  they 
lived  for  two  years,  and  then  in  1871  removed 
to  Illinois,  settling  in  Effingham  county  near 
Altamont.  There  Mr.  Rumbaugh  again  rented 
land  for  three  years,  after  which  he  returned  to 
Wayne  county,  Ohio,  and  was  engaged  in  farm- 
ing in  Ashland  and  Wayne  counties  for  four 
years.  In  1879  he  came  to  Michigan,  settling 
first  at  Chapin,  Saginaw  county,  where  he  pur- 
chased forty  acres  of  land  in  the  midst  of  the 
forest.  Here  he  cleared  and  developed  a  farm 
and  later  he  bought  forty  acres  more,  thus  be- 
coming owner  of  a  good  place  of  eighty  acres. 
He  erected  thereon  a  substantial  dwelling,  good 
barns  and  outbuildings  and  continued  in  the 
work  of  improvement  and  cultivation  until  he 
had  developed  a  valuable  farm  property  which 
annually  returned  to  him  a  gratifying  income 
for  the  labor  which  he  bestowed  upon  it.  There 
he  successfully  carried  on  general  agricultural 
pursuits  until  1902,  when  he  rented  his  land  and 
bought  three  acres  adjoining  Elsie.  He  built 
thereon  a  good  residence  and  now  has  an  at- 
tractive home,  giving  his  time  to  keeping  up  this 
property.  Mr.  Rumbaugh  started  out  in  life 
with  no  capital  save  a  strong  determination  to 
win  success  if  it  could  be  accomplished  through 
honorable  effort  and  to-day  he  is  one  of  the  sub- 
stantial residents  of  this  part  of  the  state. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rumbaugh  have  been 
born  four  children:  Burtice,  who  married 
Sophia  O'Hare  and  is  carrying  on  the  home 
farm;  and  Martha  E.,  who  makes  her  home 
with  her  parents.  Those  deceased  are  Chal- 
mers and  Lorinda. 

In  politics  Mr.  Rumbaugh  was  formerly  a 
democrat  but  is  now  identified  with  the  repub- 
lican party,  having  voted  for  Presidents  Mc- 
Kinley  and  Roosevelt.  In  Saginaw  he  was 
elected  township  treasurer,  in  which  capacity  he 
served  for  five  years,  was  clerk  one  year  and 
justice  of  the  peace  one  year.      He  was  ap- 


pointed justice  of  the  peace  to  fill  out  a  vacancy 
and  was  on  the  school  board  for  twenty-one 
consecutive  years,  or  until  his  removal  to  Elsie. 
Fraternally  he  is  connected  with  the  Chapin 
lodge  of  Odd  Fellows.  His  life  has  been  an 
honorable  and  upright  one,  in  which  he  has 
given  due  attention  to  the  varied  duties  that 
have  devolved  upon  him  in  his  relations  to  his 
business  interests,  his  fellowmen,  the  community 
and  the  country  at  large.  Ever  loyal  to  any 
public  or  private  trust,  he  has  gained  and  re- 
tained the  friendship  and  regard  of  those  with 
whom  he  has  been  associated. 


R.  H.  MOOTS. 


R.  H.  Moots,  living  on  section  29,  Dewitt 
township,  is  a  prosperous  and  prominent  farmer 
and  stock-raiser,  having  one  hundred  and  sixty 
acres  of  land,  which  constitutes  a  valuable  farm 
property.  He  is  a  native  son  of  Michigan,  his 
birth  having  occurred  in  Ingham  county  on  the 
14th  of  May,  1858.  His  father,  Henry  Moots, 
was  born  in  the  city  of  Berlin,  Germany,  in 
1826  and  grew  to  manhood  in  his  native 
country,  after  which  he  emigrated  to  the  new 
world  with  his  mother  and  her  family  in  1850. 
They  came  direct  to  Michigan,  settling  at 
Lansing,  Ingham  county.  In  early  life  Mr. 
Moots  learned  the  trade  of  a  carpenter  and 
joiner  and  later  became  a  contractor  and  builder 
of  Lansing,  erecting  the  old  Union  school  and 
other  public  buildings  there.  He  was  married 
in  Lansing  to  Christiana  Leadley,  who  was  born 
in  Wurtemberg,  Germany,  and  in  1863  he  came 
with  his  family  to  Clinton  county,  purchasing 
two  hundred  acres  of  land  near  Dewitt.  He 
then  located  on  this  tract  and  engaged  in  farm- 
ing, further  improving  the  property  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  July,  1894. 
His  wife  still  survives  him  and  is  now  living 
with  a  daughter  at  Lansing.  In  their  family 
were  two  sons  and  five  daughters,  all  of  whom 
are  yet  living. 

R.  H.  Moots  has  spent  the  greater  part  of  his 
life  in  Clinton  county,  having  been  reared  upon 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


the  old  family  homestead  here,  while  his  edu- 
cation was  acquired  in  the  schools  of  Dewitt. 
He  remained  with  his  father  on  the  old  home- 
stead until  twenty-seven  years  of  age,  when  he 
went  to  Lansing,  where  he  was  employed  in  a 
meat  market  for  about  a  year.  In  1886  he 
purchased  a  farm  of  eighty  acres  in  Dewitt 
township  and  settled  thereon,  giving  his  time 
and  energies  to  the  tilling  of  the  soil  and  the 
raising  of  crops.  He  resided  there  until  1901, 
when  he  sold  that  property  and  bought  one 
hundred  and  sixty  acres  on  section  29,  Dewitt 
township,  where  he  now  resides.  This  has  good 
buildings  and  modern  equipments  and  in  fact 
is  one  of  the  best  improved  places  in  the  town- 
ship and  in  connection  with  the  cultivation  of 
the  cereals  best  adapted  to  soil  and  climate  Mr. 
Moots  is  successfully  engaged  in  raising,  feed- 
ing and  shipping  stock,  being  one  of  the  most 
prosperous  representatives  of  this  line  of  busi- 
ness in  the  township. 

On  the  15th  of  November,  1890,  in  Water- 
town,  Clinton  county,  R.  H.  Moots  was  mar- 
ried to  Miss  Nora  Reeves,  a  native  of  Clinton 
county,  reared  and  educated  here,  and  a  daugh- 
ter of  Thomas  Reeves,  who  was  a  native  of 
England.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Moots  have  two  chil- 
dren, Helene  and  Leadley.  Politically  Mr. 
Moots  is  a  stanch  republican  but  was  reared  in 
the  faith  of  the  democratic  party.  He  has  never 
sought  or  desired  office,  however,  but  has  given 
his  time  and  attention  to  his  business  interests. 
Fraternally  he  is  a  Master  Mason,  his  affiliation 
being  with  the  blue  lodge  at  Dewitt. 


JOHN  M.  KOSHT. 


The  farming  interests  of  Ovid  township  are 
well  represented  by  John  M.  Kosht,  now  liv- 
ing on  section  21,  where  he  has  a  good  farm, 
well  improved  and  highly  developed.  He  is  a 
native  of  Dauphin  county,  Pennsylvania,  born 
October  29,  1830.  His  parents,  George  and 
Polly  (Miller)  Kosht,  were  also  natives  of  the 
Keystone  state  and  after  their  marriage  re- 
moved to  Ohio,  while  subsequently  they  came 


to  Michigan  about  1858,  settling  in  Ovid  town- 
ship, Clinton  county.  The  father  purchased 
land  on  section  29  but  eventually  sold  this  and 
purchased  a  second  farm  on  section  28,  where 
he  spent  his  remaining  days,  passing  away  at 
the  venerable  age  of  eighty  years.  His  wife 
died  when  their  son  John  was  a  youth  of  four- 
teen and  left  three  children,  the  others  being 
Eliza,  now  the  deceased  wife  of  John  Hed- 
dinger,  of  Ovid  township;  and  Mrs.  Sarah 
Walters,  of  Pennsylvania. 

John  M.  Kosht  had  but  limited  educational 
privileges  but  to  some  extent  attended  school  in 
his  youth  and  throughout  the  remainder  of  the 
year  worked  upon  the  home  farm.  Later  he 
was  employed  as  a  farm  hand  in  the  neighbor- 
hood, working  by  the  month  for  seven  dollars 
and  a  half  per  month.  He  later  learned  the 
cooper's  trade,  which  he  followed  after  his 
removal  to  Michigan  in  1854.  Subsequent  to 
his  arrival  in  this  state  he  first  lived  with  his 
brother-in-law,  and  in  1856  he  took  up  his 
abode  on  his  present  farm  on  section  21,  Ovid 
township,  where  he  at  first  purchased  fifteen 
acres.  This  land  he  cleared  and  later  he  added 
to  it  forty  acres.  His  original  log  cabin  was 
erected  in  1856  and  continued  to  be  his  place  of 
abode  until  1887,  when  he  built  a  new  house. 
He  also  built  good  barns  in  1879  and  1900  and 
now  has  a  well  improved  property,  on  which 
the  work  of  improvement  has  been  steadily  car- 
ried on. 

In  1854  Mr.  Kosht  was  united  in  marriage 
to  Miss  Sophia  Heddinger,  a  daughter  of 
Phillip  Heddinger,  of  Ovid  township.  Eleven 
children  have  been  born  of  this  union :  Viola, 
the  widow  of  E.  L.  Kindreck;  Adelaide,  the 
wife  of  Henry  Gardner,  of  Saranac  county, 
Michigan;  Aaron,  a  resident  farmer  of  Ovid 
township;  Emma,  the  wife  of  Emerson  Yerick, 
who  is  also  living  in  Ovid  township;  Estella, 
the  wife  of  William  Van  Orsdale,  of  the  same 
township;  Milton,  upon  the  home  farm;  Clara, 
the  wife  of  Oliver  Fish,  of  Greenbush  town- 
ship; Delia,  the  wife  of  Willis  Dennis,  of 
Seneca  Falls,  New  York;  Martha,  the  wife  of 
Israel  Taft,  of  Ovid  township;  Omry  and 
Lewis  E.,  both  at  home. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


215 


Mr.  Kosht  is  a  democrat  where  national 
issues  are  involved  but  at  local  elections  be- 
lieves in  voting  for  the  best  candidate  regard- 
less of  party  affiliation.  He  has  been  a  promi- 
nent member  of  the  United  Brethren  church  for 
the  past  thirty  years  and  has  served  as  trustee 
since  1879.  His  wife  is  also  a  member  of  the 
same  church.  He  possesses  many  excellent 
traits,  is  a  man  of  high  moral  character,  known 
throughout  the  community  as  a  kind  neigh- 
bor, a  good  citizen  and  a  trustworthy  business 
man. 


WILLIAM  E.  HAMILTON. 

William  E.  Hamilton,  one  of  the  prominent 
members  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic  in 
Michigan,  with  an  acquaintance  that  extends 
throughout  the  state,  and  now  conducting  a 
general  insurance  business  in  St.  Johns,  is  a 
native  of  Grand  Blanc,  Michigan,  born  Septem- 
ber 14,  1844.  His  parents  were  Thomas  J.  and 
Eliza  T.  (Pettis)  Hamilton,  the  former  a  na- 
tive of  Massachusetts  and  the  latter  of  Con- 
necticut. Little  is  known  concerning  the  an- 
cestral history  of  the  father's  family.  Thomas 
Hamilton,  losing  his  mother  when  only  three 
years  of  age,  went  to  live  with  an  aunt  in 
Ogdensburg,  New  York,  when  seven  years  of 
age,  and  he  spent  a  part  of  his  early  life  in 
Pembroke,-  New  York,  where  he  was  engaged 
in  the  milling  business.  He  was  married  in 
February,  1837,  to  Eliza  T.  Pettis,  who  be- 
longed to  an  old  Massachusetts  family  and  was 
a  descendant  of  Thomas  Hyde,  one  of  the  Pil- 
grims of  1620.  After  his  marriage  Mr.  Hamil- 
ton removed  to  Grand  Blanc,  Michigan,  where 
he  resided  until  he  became  a  resident  of  Iowa 
in  1869.  His  death  occurred  in  the  latter  state 
when  he  was  fifty-nine  years  of  age,  and  his 
wife  died  in  St.  Johns  at  the  age  of  sixty-five 
years.  They  were  the  parents  of  five  children : 
George  I.,  of  Iowa;  Ansel,  of  Grand  Blanc,  who 
died  in  the  army;  Charles  P.,  of  Maple  Rapids; 
William  E.,  of  this  review,  who  is  the  only  one 
now  living,  and  Eliott  A.,  who  was  a  professor 
in  an  Iowa  college  at  the  time  of  his  death. 
14 


William  E.  Hamilton  pursued  his  education 
in  the  public  schools  of  his  native  city  and  in 
Flint,  Michigan.  Responding  to  his  country's 
call  in  1862,  he  became  a  member  of  Company 
G,  Eighth  Michigan  Volunteer  Infantry,  being 
mustered  in  on  the  14th  of  August  of  that  year 
and  mustered  out  on  the  1st  of  June,  1865.  He 
joined  the  army  as  a  private  and  was  afterward 
made  corporal.  He  participated  in  the  engage- 
ments of  Antietam,  Fredericksburg,  Vicksburg, 
the  siege  of  Knoxville,  the  battle  of  the  Wilder- 
ness, Spottsylvania  and  many  others  and  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  war  continued  in  the  siege  of 
Petersburg  until  the  close  of  hostilities.  He  was 
wounded  in  the  right  knee  at  the  battle  of  the 
Wilderness  and  was  knocked  down  and  hit  in 
the  right  hip  at  Cold  Harbor.  Since  the  or- 
ganization of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic 
Mr.  Hamilton  has  been  very  prominent  in  its 
circles  and  was  assistant  adjutant  of  Michigan 
in  1895.  He  held  membership  in  C.  E.  Grisson 
Post,  No.  156,  until  1900,  when  he  became 
commander  of  R.  G.  Hutchinson  Post  at  Fow- 
ler, which  position  he  still  fills.  He  had  been 
commander  of  Grisson  Post  in  1887  and  he  or- 
ganized from  that  post  a  company  of  Zouaves 
which  were  uniform  and  won  all  of  the  prizes 
given  at  the  reunions  up  to  1895.  Mr.  Hamil- 
ton has  done  effective  service  in  behalf  of  his 
old  army  comrades  and  has  a  deep  interest  in 
their  welfare. 

Following  his  return  from  the  war,  Mr. 
Hamilton  began  work  at  the  trade  of  a  carpen- 
ter and  builder,  which  he  followed  until  1867, 
after  which  he  spent  six  years  at  farming  in 
Dallas  county,  Iowa.  In  the  fall  of  1873,  how- 
ever, he  returned  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Liv- 
ingston county,  where  he  spent  two  years.  He 
was  afterward  in  Maple  Rapids,  where  he  con- 
ducted the  Union  House  for  two  years,  and  in 
1882  he  came  to  St.  Johns,  where  he  was  en- 
gaged in  building  operations  for  fifteen  years. 
Since  1897  his  attention  has  been  given  to  the 
general  insurance  business,  in  which  he  still  con- 
tinues with  a  gratifying  patronage. 

On  the  4th  of  July,  1866,  Mr.  Hamilton  was 
married  to  Miss  Juliette  Townsend,  of  Grand 
Blanc,  Michigan,  who  died  January   1,    1879. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF   CLINTON    COUNTY. 


On  the  5th  of  March,  1882,  he  married  Amanda 
Baker,  of  St.  Johns,  who  died  April  1,  1900, 
and  his  present  wife  was  formerly  Cora  A. 
Rogers,  of  Muskegon,  Michigan,  the  date  of 
their  marriage  being  July  17,  1901. 

Mr.  Hamilton  is  a  stalwart  republican  and 
has  served  as  village  trustee  for  two  years.  He 
belongs  to  the  Ancient  Order  of  United  Work- 
men. He  is  a  man  of  fine  military  bearing 
and  stands  as  a  splendid  type  of  that  great  army 
which  preserved  the  Union  in  the  hour  of  our 
country's  peril. 


F.  M.  PIGGOTT. 


F.  M.  Piggott,  whose  home  is  on  section  25, 
Lebanon  township,  is  classed  with  the  substan- 
tial farmers  and  stock  raisers,  breeders  and  deal- 
ers of  Clinton  county.  He  has  become  well 
known  as  a  dealer  in  Shorthorn  cattle,  Poland 
China  hogs  and  Merino  sheep,  while  his  farm 
embraces  four  hundred  and  twenty-five  acres 
and  in  its  neat  appearance  indicates  his  careful 
supervision.  It  was  upon  this  farm  that  Mr. 
Piggott  was  born  July  10,  1864.  His  father, 
Charles  Piggott,  was  a  native  of  England,  born 
in  the  city  of  London  in  1829,  and  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  metropolis  his  youth  was  passed 
on  a  farm,  where  he  took  up  his  abode  when  a 
lad  of  six  summers.  He  came  to  the  new  world 
in  1849,  when  a  young  man  of  twenty  years  and 
spent  a  few  years  on  a  farm  near  Rochester, 
New  York.  In  that  locality  he  was  married 
and  in  1852  he  came  to  Michigan,  settling  in 
Lebanon  township,  Clinton  county,  purchasing 
sixty  acres  of  land  that  constituted  the  nucleus 
of  the  farm  upon  which  our  subject  now  re- 
sides. The  father  met  the  usual  experiences  of 
pioneer  life,  for  his  land  was  a  timbered  tract 
which  it  was  necessary  for  him  to  clear  be- 
fore he  could  cultivate  the  fields.  He  built  a  log 
house  and  then  began  the  active  work  of  pre- 
paring the  land  for  the  plow.  As  his  financial 
resources  increased  he  added  to  his  property 
from  time  to  time  until  he  owned  three  hundred 
acres,  constituting  a  valuable  farm.     He  built 


a  good  house,  also  erected  several  small  build- 
ings and  a  barn,  planted  an  orchard  and  made 
other  modern  improvements.  It  was  after  his 
removal  to  Michigan  that  Mr.  Piggott  was 
married  a  second  time  in  Calhoun  county,  the 
lady  of  his  choice  being  Bridget  Kearney,  who 
became  the  mother  of  F.  M.  Piggott  of  this  re- 
view. The  father  continued  to  reside  upon  the 
old  homestead  here  until  his  death,  which  oc- 
curred December  27,  1888,  and  his  widow  yet 
resides  upon  the  farm. 

F.  M.  Piggott  is  the  younger  of  two  sons, 
his  brother  Leonard  being  a  substantial  farmer 
of  Lebanon  township.  The  youth  of  F.  M. 
Piggott  was  passed  upon  the  farm  and  he  was 
educated  in  the  common  schools  and  in  the 
high  school  of  Maple  Rapids.  He  continued 
with  his  father  on  the  old  home  place  and  after 
putting  aside  his  text-books  took  charge  of  the 
farm.  He  has  since  remodeled  and  rebuilt  the 
house,  has  also  built  a  large  barn  and  has  added 
modern  equipments,  including  the  latest  im- 
proved machinery.  He  owns  one  hundred  and 
forty  acres  of  the  old  homestead,  to  which  he 
has  added  until  he  now  has  four  hundred  and 
twenty-five  acres  in  one  body.  Here  he  has  a 
good  gasoline  engine  and  well  pump.  He  en- 
gages in  raising  Shorthorn  cattle  and  owns  a 
fine  registered  herd.  He  has  likewise  engaged 
in  breeding  and  raising  Poland  China  hogs  for 
seventeen  years  and  in  this  connection  has  be- 
come well  known,  making  shipments  all  over 
the  lower  peninsula  of  Michigan.  He  likewise 
has  Merino  sheep  and  good  grades  of  horses  on 
his  place  and  lie  is  thoroughly  familiar  with  the 
best  points  of  good  stock  and  is  seldom,  if  ever, 
at  fault  in  his  judgment  concerning  the  value 
of  farm  animals.  This  department  of  his  busi- 
ness has  proved  very  profitable  and  is  a  source 
of  excellent  income  to  Mr.  Piggott. 

On  the  9th  of  November,  1886,  in  Ionia 
county,  Michigan,  Mr.  Piggott  was  united  in 
marriage  to  Miss  Sarah  Lawless,  a  native  of 
Portland  township,  Ionia  county.  She  was 
reared  and  educated  in  Chatham  and  is  a 
daughter  of  Nicholas  Lawless,  who  removed 
from  New  York  to  Ionia  county.  Seven  chil- 
dren graced  this  marriage :  Margaret,  a  gradu- 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  F.  M.  PIGGOTT. 


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ate  of  the  county  normal  school  and  now  a  suc- 
cessful teacher;  Agnes,  a  Student  in  St.  Johns; 
Clarence  J.;  William  J.;  Elvira;  Leonard;  and 
F.  Marion. 

The   parents   are   members   of   the   Catholic 
church,  having  been   reared   in  that   faith,   to 
which  they  have  since  belonged.     Mr.  Piggott 
is  connected  with  the  Knights  of  the  Maccabees 
and  with  the  Farmers'  Mutual  Insurance  Com- 
pany of  Clinton  and  Gratiot  counties,  of  which 
he  has  served  as  agent  and  collector  for  seven- 
teen years.     He  is    also    a   member   of    Essex 
Grange  and  the  Lebanon   Farmers'    Club,    of 
which  he  has  been  president  several  terms  and 
also  a  delegate  to  Lansing.  He  has  always  voted 
with  the  democracy  and  was  elected  and  served 
for  two  terms  as  township  treasurer,  has  also 
been  school  inspector  and  supervisor  and  for 
one  year  served  as  a  member  of  the  honorary 
county  board,  during  which  time  he  was  on  the 
equalization  committee.    He  has  been  a  delegate 
to  the  state  and  county  conventions  and  also  a 
member  of  the  town  and  county  committees  of 
the  democracy.  He  favors  progress  along  intel- 
lectual, political,  material  and  moral  lines  and 
has  done  his  full    share    in    promoting    public 
progress  as  well  as  in  advancing  his  individual 
prosperity.      His    business    affairs    have    been 
honorably  and  capably  conducted  and  he  is  one 
of  the  valued  native  sons  of  the  county,  having 
spent  his  entire  life  on  the  farm  which  is  yet 
his  home. 


HENRY  PALMER,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Henry  Palmer,  engaged  in  the  practice 
of  medicine  with  diseases  of  the  eye  as  a 
specialty,  is  a  native  of  Lockport,  Niagara 
county,  New  York,  born  February  22,  1857. 
His  father,  George  Palmer,  was  a  native  of 
Cambridgeshire,  England,  in  which  country 
his  parents  were  farming  people.  He,  too,  be- 
came a  farmer  in  his  native  land,  where  he  re- 
sided until  1855,  when  he  sought  a  home  in 
the  new  world,  settling  in  Lockport,  New  York, 
where  he  carried  on  agricultural  pursuits  for 


nine  years.  He  came  to  Michigan  in  1864 
and  purchased  eighty  acres  of  land  near  St. 
Johns.  Soon  afterward  he  brought  his  family 
to  the  new  home  which  he  had  prepared  in 
Greenbush  township  and  throughout  his  re- 
maining days  he  carried  on  agricultural  pur- 
suits here.  He  passed  away  in  1875,  respected 
by  all  who  knew  him.  His  wife,  Mrs.  Sarah 
(Johnson)  Palmer,  was  also  a  native  of  Eng- 
land and  survived  him  until  1882,  when  she, 
too,  passed  away  on  the  old  homestead.  They 
were  the  parents  of  four  children. 

Dr.  Palmer,  the  youngest  of  the  family,  was 
reared  in  Lockport,  whence  he  came  to  Clinton 
county  in  1864  and  here  he  remained  until  he 
reached  the  age  of  sixteen  years.     He  then  be- 
gan work  by  the  month  as  a  farm  hand  and 
the  following  year  he  became  a  student  in  the 
high  school  at  St.  Johns,  paying  his  tuition  for 
he  was  not  a  resident  of  the  town.     Ambitious 
to  acquire  an  education  that  would  well  qualify 
him  for  life's  practical  and  responsible  duties,  in 
1876  he  entered  the  Agricultural   College  at 
Lansing  and  pursued  a  course  of  study  there 
preparatory  to  entering  upon  the  study  of  medi- 
cine.    He  completed  five  years'  work  in  three 
years  time  and  met  the  expenses  of  his  college 
work  by  teaching.      He  afterward  spent  two 
years  in  the  west  as  a  civil  engineer,  being  em- 
ployed for  one  year  in  Utah  on  the  Denver  & 
Rio  Grande  Railroad,  after  which  he  went  to 
Oregon  and  for  a  year  was  a  civil  engineer  in 
the  service  of  the  Oregon  Short  Line  Railroad. 
Returning  to  St.  Johns  in  the  spring  of  1883, 
he  soon  afterward  entered  the  University  of 
Michigan  as  a   student  in  the  department  of 
pharmacy  and  won  his  degree  upon  his  gradu- 
ation in  the  class  of  1885.     He  next  entered 
the  junior  class  in  the  medical  department,  from 
which  he  was  graduated  in  the  spring  of  1887 
with  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Medicine. 

He  then  located  permanently  in  St.  Johns, 
where  he  has  worked  his  way  steadily  upward 
and  now  has  a  practice  covering  several  coun- 
ties. His  general  practice  in  medicine  and  sur- 
gery has  been  very  large  and  he  has  also  made 
a  specialty  of  the  treatment  of  diseases  of  the 
eye,  in  which  he  is  very  successful. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


In  1887  Dr.  Palmer  was  married  to  Miss 
Lucy  Perrin,  a  daughter  of  the  late  H.  M.  Per- 
rin.  She  was  educated  in  this  city,  completing 
a  high-school  course  and  is  a  lady  of  natural 
culture  and  refinement.  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Palmer 
have  but  one  daughter,  Ruth  E.  Dr.  Palmer  is 
an  active  and  enthusiastic  republican  and  is  a 
member  of  several  civic  societies.  He  likewise 
belongs  to  the  State  Pharmaceutical  Association 
and  is  a  prominent  member  of  the  State  Medical 
Society,  while  in  the  County  Medical  Society 
he  has  served  as  secretary.  His  membership 
in  these  organizations  keeps  him  in  touch  with 
the  advanced  thought  of  the  profession  and  the 
onward  march  of  the  medical  fraternity  and  he 
is  ever  an  interested  student  of  all  that  tends  to 
bring  to  man  the  key  to  the  complex  mystery 
which  we  call  life.  By  investigation  and  read- 
ing he  has  continually  promoted  his  knowledge 
and  efficiency  and  his  careful  diagnosis  of  a 
case  enables  him  to  determine  with  accuracy  the 
outcome  of  disease. 


MILLARD  P.  SLEIGHT. 

Millard  P.  Sleight,  actively  engaged  in  farm- 
ing upon  a  tract  of  land  of  one  hundred  and 
sixty  acres  on  sections  5  and  6,  Bath  township, 
was  born  upon  this  farm,  which  is  therefore 
endeared  to  him  through  the  associations  of  his 
youth  as  well  as  those  of  later  manhood,  his 
natal  day  being  November  3,  1871.  His  father, 
Job  Sleight,  was  a  native  of  New  York,  his 
birth  having  occurred  in  Dutchess  county  in 
1847.  His  father,  Peter  Sleight,  was  also  a  na- 
tive of  Dutchess  county  and  in  the  year  1861 
came  to  the  west,  settling  in  Clinton  county, 
Michigan,  where  he  purchased  land.  Job  Sleight 
arrived  in  this  county  when  a  youth  of  fourteen 
years  and  was  herd  reared  to  manhood.  After  at- 
taining his  majority  he  sought  a  companion 
and  helpmate  on  life's  journey,  wedding  Miss 
Frances  Morgan,  whose  birth  occurred  in 
Washtenaw  county,  Michigan.  Previous  to  his 
marriage  Mr.  Sleight  had  purchased  two  hun- 
dred and  forty  acres  of  land  which  he  began 


to  clear  and  improve  and  to  this  farm  he  took 
his  bride  and  with  the  further  impetus  of  hav- 
ing a  wife  for  whom  to  provide  he  applied  him- 
self diligently  to  the  work  of  clearing  and  culti- 
vating his  fields.  His  original  pioneer  home 
was  afterward  replaced  by  an  attractive  brick 
residence,  in  the  rear  of  which  he  built  good 
barns  and  outbuildings.  Here  he  continued  to 
carry  on  general  agricultural  pursuits  until 
1891,  when. he  sold  eighty  acres  of  the  land  to 
his  son  Millard  and  eighty  acres  to  his  daugh- 
ter, Mrs.  George  Hart.  He  then  removed  to 
Alma,  Gratiot  county,  where  he  bought  a  farm, 
comprising  one  hundred  and  fifty  acres  of  very 
valuable  and  well  improved  land,  and  he  is  now 
one  of  the  prominent  and  substantial  agri- 
culturists of  that  portion  of  the  state. 

Millard  P.  Sleight  was  reared  to  manhood  in 
Bath  township  on  the  old  home  farm  and  in 
his  boyhood  days  trudged  morning  and  evening 
to  the  district  schools,  mastering  therein  the 
common  branches  of  learning.  In  the  periods 
of  vacation  he  worked  in  the  fields,  aiding  his 
father  in  clearing  and  cultivating  the  land. 

On  the  29th  of  June,  1895,  Millard  P. 
Sleight  was  married  to  Miss  Edith  Wildt,  who 
was  a  native  of  this  county  and  a  daughter  of 
Charles  Wildt,  of  Dewitt,  who  died  in  the 
village  in  1900.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sleight  began 
their  domestic  life  upon  the  old  homestead  farm, 
Mr.  Sleight  operating  his  own  tract  of  eighty 
acres  also  the  eighty  acres  belonging  to  his  sis- 
ter and  the  eighty  acres  belonging  to  his  father, 
his  attention  therefore  being  claimed  by  the  im- 
provement of  a  farm  of  two  hundred  and  forty 
acres.  He  is  industrious,  energetically  taking 
up  each  duty  that  comes  to  him  and  keeping  his 
place  in  first  class  condition.  The  home  has 
been  blessed  with  three  children  but  they  lost 
their  first  born,  Ford,  when  he  was  thirteen 
months  old.  The  others  are  Beatrice  and  Ralph. 
Politically  Mr.  Sleight  is  a  stanch  repub- 
lican, never  wavering  in  his  support  of  the 
party  yet  never  active  as  an  office  seeker.  He 
was  elected,  however,  and  is  now  serving  as 
township  treasurer.  His  entire  life  has  been 
passed  on  this  one  farm  and  for  thirty-four 
years  he  has  been  a  witness  of  the  development 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


221 


of  Clinton  county,  where  he  is  known  as  a  man 
of  business  integrity  and  worth,  having  the  con- 
fidence and  esteem  of  the  entire  community. 


L.  B.  DOWNIE. 


L.  B.  Downie,  for  twenty-five  years  engaged 
in  the  hardware  business  in  Elsie,  has  the  quali- 
fications so  necessary  to  commercial  success- 
ready  adaptability,  close  application  and  un- 
flagging enterprise.  Moreover  he  finds  time  to 
faithfully  perform  the  duties  of  citizenship  and 
has  done  much  to  further  interests  which  have 
for  their  motive  the  upbuilding  and  development 
of  the  city. 

Mr.  Downie  is  a  native  of  Cuyahoga  county, 
Ohio,  born  January  31,  1847.  His  father> 
David  L.  Downie,  was  a  native  of  New  York, 
born  in  18 1 4,  and  became  a  fanner  in  that  state, 
but  later  removed  to  Cuyahoga  county,  Ohio, 
while  subsequently  he  owned  and  operated  a 
farm  in  Lorain  county,  Ohio.  On  coming  to 
Michigan  he  settled  on  a  farm  in  Duplain  town- 
ship, Clinton  county,  where  he  spent  his  last 
years,  passing  away  about  1875.  His  wife  sur- 
vived him  for  some  time,  reaching  the  age  of 
seventy-one  years. 

On  the  home  farm  in  Lorain  county,  Ohio, 
L.  B.  Downie  was  reared,  remaining  with  his 
father  until  sixteen  years  of  age,  when  he 
started  out  in  life  on  his  own  account.  In  the 
fall  of  1864  he  came  to  Clinton  county,  Michi- 
gan, and  was  afterward  employed  in  a  lumber 
camp  in  the  pine  woods,  at  any  work  that  came 
to  hand.  Subsequently  he  engaged  in  the  meat 
business  at  Elsie,  conducting  a  market  for  about 
a  year  and  a  half.  At  a  later  date  he  returned 
to  Ohio  and  became  connected  with  commercial 
pursuits  in  Lorain  county,  where  he  opened  up 
a  line  of  dry  goods  and  general  merchandise. 
He  also  served  as  postmaster  for  three  and  a 
half  years  under  Rutherford  B.  Hayes,  while 
his  identification  with  commercial  pursuits 
covered  four  and  a  half  years.  He  then  sold 
out  and  removed  to  St.  Johns,  where  he  was 
engaged    in    the    grocery    business    for    seven 


months,  and  in  1881  he  returned  to  Elsie,  where 
he  began  dealing  in  hardware  and  implements 
on  a  small  scale.  However,  he  has  increased 
his  stock  from  year  to  year,  as  the  trade  has 
demanded  and  he  now  has  a  large  stock  of  shelf 
and  heavy  hardware  and  implements,  his  busi- 
ness having  become  quite  extensive.  It  is  care- 
fully managed  with  due  regard  to  the  service 
he  can  render  his  patrons  and  also  to  the  profits 
which  are  justly  his.  He  has  purchased  good 
business  property,  and  his  store  and  realty  in- 
terests in  Elsie  are  the  visible  evidence  of  his 
life  of  well  directed  and  successful  activity. 

Mr.  Downie  was  married  in  Elsie,  in  Novem- 
ber, .1864,  to  Miss  Almena  P.  Fowler,  who  was 
born  and  reared  in  Delaware  county,  Ohio,  a 
daughter  of  Jacob  Fowler,  who  was  a  native 
of  New  York,  born  on  the  Susquehanna  river. 
He  was  reared  in  Delaware  county,  Ohio,  and 
was  married  there  to  Miss  Emily  Ryle,  a  na- 
tive of  Lorain  county,  that  state.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Downie  have  become  the  parents  of  four  chil- 
dren: Nellie  M.,  who  is  the  wife  of  Uriah 
Ferguson,  of  Elsie,  and  has  one  son;  Anna  L., 
who  died  in  1876;  Ray  L.,  who  assists  his 
father  in  the  store  and  is  the  owner  of  a  good 
residence  here;  and  Marium  E.,  at  home. 

In  the  community  affairs  Mr.  Downie  figures 
quite  prominently,  taking  an  active  interest  in 
material,  social  and  political  progress  and  with- 
holding his  support  from  no  practical  movement 
along  those  lines.  He  has  always  been  a  stanch 
champion  of  republican  principles  and  although 
never  an  active  politician  in  the  sense  of  office- 
seeking,  he  has  nevertheless  been  called  to  public 
office  by  his  fellow  townsmen,  serving  in  the 
village  council  for  six  years  and  as  treasurer  of 
the  village  for  one  term.  His  wife  belongs  to 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  and  he  has 
membership  relations  with  the  Odd  Fellows, 
having  been  initiated  into  the  fraternity  in  Ohio, 
while  his  membership  is  now  with  Elsie  lodge. 
He  filled  all  the  chairs  in  Ohio  and  is  a  past 
grand,  and  his  wife  is  identified  with  the  Re- 
bekah  lodge.  Mr.  Downie  also  affiliates  with 
the  Maccabees.  He  is  thoroughly  identified 
with  the  interests  of  Elsie  and  her  people  and 
is  recognized  throughout  the  community  as  a 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


man  of  good  business  ability,  of  exemplary 
habits  and  of  sterling  character  and  worth.  He 
is  much  esteemed  in  the  community  and  well 
merits  the  high  position  in  public  regard  which 
is  uniformly  tendered  him. 


VARNEY  PEARCE. 


Varney  Pearce,  living  in  Dewitt,  is  a  well 
known  resident  of  the  county,  who  is  now  re- 
tired in  the  enjoyment  of  the  fruits  of  long 
labor  in  former  years.  He  is  likewise  num- 
bered among  the  pioneer  settlers  of  Clinton 
county,  dating  his  residence  here  from  1864. 
A  native  of  Ohio,  he  was  born  in  Huron  county 
on  the  10th  of  February,  1832,  his  father  being 
Varney  Pearce,  Sr.,  who  was  a  native  of  Mas- 
sachusetts, in  which  state  he  was  reared  to  man- 
hood. He  was  also  married  there  and  after- 
ward removed  to  the  west,  casting  in  his  lot 
writh  the  pioneer  settlers  of  Ohio.  His  second 
wife,  whom  he  wedded  in  the  Buckeye  state, 
bore  the  maiden  name  of  Mary  Roscoe.  His 
wife  survived  him  and  reared  her  family  of 
children  and  was  also  a  second  time  married. 

Varney  Pearce  of  this  review  spent  the  days 
of  his  boyhood  and  youth  upon  the  home  farm 
in  Huron  county,  Ohio,  where  he  acquired  his 
primary  education.  His  knowledge,  however, 
has  been  largely  self -acquired  through  ex- 
perience, observation  and  reading  and  to-day  he 
is  a  well  informed  man.  From  early  youth  he 
has  been  dependent  upon  his  own  efforts  and 
has  ever  manifested  a  self-reliant,  earnest  and 
indefatigable  spirit  which  has  enabled  him  to 
overcome  difficulties  and  obstacles  and  work  his 
way  steadily  upward  to  success.  He  was  em- 
ployed as  a  farm  hand  by  the  month  for  six- 
teen years  and  after  the  death  of  his  stepfather 
he  resided  with  his  mother  and  carried  on  the 
old  home  farm.  In  1864  he  came  west,  settling 
in  Michigan.  He  found  friends  in  this  county, 
which  he  had  previously  visited  in  1854  and  to 
which  he  had  returned  in  1858,  at  that  time 
purchasing  the  farm  upon  which  he  took  up  his 
abode  in  1864.    He  first  located  in  Dewitt  town- 


ship, where  he  carried  on  agricultural  pursuits 
for  a  year,  after  which  he  sold  out  and  en- 
'■•g^g*8^irf'  the  manufacture  of  lumber.  He 
bought-  an  interest  in  a  saw  mill  and  was  con- 
nected with  its  operation  for  five  years.  During 
that  period  he  also  invested  in  land  in  Olive 
township  and  in  Watertown  and,  locating  on 
the  former  tract  of  land,  he  there  cultivated 
and  improved  his  property,  comprising  two 
hundred  and  twenty  acres.  He  erected  a  large, 
neat  brick  residence,  a  commodious  barn,  a  gran- 
ary and  other  outbuildings  and  his  place  be- 
came very  valuable  because  of  its  modern 
equipments  and  the  able  manner  in  which  he 
carried  on  the  work.  He  did  both  farming  and 
stock  raising  and  was  thus  engaged  until  1904, 
when  he  erected  a  neat  residence  in  Dewitt  and 
took  up  his  abode  in  the  town,  where  he  is  now 
living  retired. 

Mr.  Pearce  was  united  in  marriage  in  St. 
Johns,  April  18,  1872,  to  Miss  Charity  L.  Van 
Dyke,  a  native  of  Clinton  county,  Michigan, 
born  in  the  town  of  Riley,  June  28,  1848. 
Her  father,  William  Van  Dyke,  came  from 
New  York  to  Michigan  at  a  very  early  period 
in  the  improvement  of  Clinton  county.  In  his 
family  were  nine  children,  of  whom  seven 
reached  manhood  and  womanhod,  and  those  still 
living  are  Mrs.  M.  J.  Smith,  Mrs.  William  H. 
H.  Knapp,  George  H.  Van  Dyke,  Mrs.  Sarah 
Oberry  and  Mrs.  Charity  L.  Pearce.  Two  of 
the  sons  were  in  the  Union  army  during  the 
Civil  war,  James  M.  being  a  member  of  Com- 
pany L,  First  United  States  Cavalry.  He  was 
killed  while  .on  his  horse,  September  19,  1864, 
the  morning  Sheridan  made  his  famous  twenty- 
mile  ride.  Another  son,  William  L.,  was  first 
a  member  of  the  Third  Michigan  Cavalry  and 
later  the  Tenth  Michigan  Cavalry,  remaining 
in  the  service  until  the  close  of  the  war.  He  is 
now  deceased. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Pearce  are  the  parents  of  three 
children.  Alta  is  now  the  wife  of  Fenton 
Brink,  of  Watertown,  and  they  have  one  child, 
Josephine,  who  is  two  and  a  half  years  of  age. 
Josephine,  the  second  daughter  of  our  subject, 
is  the  wife  of  Fred  Tucker,  who  now  owns 
and  operates  the  old  Tucker  homestead  of  one 


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VARNEY  PEARCE. 


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MRS.  VARNEY  PEARCE. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


227 


hundred  and  forty  acres  in  Dewitt  township. 
Varney  D.  Pearce,  the  only  son,  is  an  active 
and  successful  agriculturist  living  on  the  old 
home  farm.  He  married  Gertrude  Eaton,  of 
this  county. 

Prior  to  her  marriage  Mrs.  Pearce  success- 
fully engaged  in  teaching  school  for  four  years 
and  at  times  walked  two  miles  to  school  and 
then  had  to  build  her  own  fire.  She  is  one  of 
the  most  prominent  and  influential  women  in 
her  community,  having  served  as  lecturer  of 
Dewitt  Grange,  No.  459>  for  nine  years  and  of 
Pomona  Grange,  No.  25,  for  eleven.  She  is 
filling  the  latter  position  at  the  present  time 
and  is  also  secretary  of  the  Clinton  County 
Pioneer  Society  in  her  sixth  year  and  is  repre- 
senting this  county  in  the  State  Pioneer  Asso- 
ciation as  vice  president.  Both  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Pearce  have  taken  all  of  the  seven  degrees  in 
the  Grange  and  are  members  of  the  Universalist 
church,  in  which  faith  they  were  reared. 

Politically  Mr.  Pearce  was  a  democrat  for 
a  number  of  years  but  is  now  independent,  vot- 
ing without  regard  to  party  ties.  He  has  been 
a  resident  of  Clinton  county  for  forty-one  years, 
during  which  time  he  has  witnessed  the  greater 
part  of  its  growth,  aiding  himself  in  felling 
forests,  in  subduing  the  virgin  soil  and  in  pro- 
ducing the  present  advanced  state  of  progressive 
agriculture.  He  endured  the  hardships  and 
privations  of  frontier  life  without  a  murmur  in 
order  that  he  might  found  a  home  here  and  now 
in  the  eventide  of  life  he  is  enabled  to  enjoy 
the  comforts,  conveniences  and  many  of  the 
luxuries  that  go  to  make  life  worth  the  living. 


SAMUEL  BOND. 


Samuel  Bond,  who  is  following  farming  in 
a  practical,  progressive  and  profitable  manner 
on  section  25,  Greenbush  township,  where  a 
productive  tract  of  land  of  two  hundred  and 
twenty  acres  annuaHy  returns  him  a  gratifying 
income,  was  born  in  Somersetshire,  England, 
on  the  25th  of  November,  1853.  He  spent  the 
first  twenty  years  of  his  life  in  that  country 


and  then  in  company  with  his  brother,  Charles 
Bond,  sought  a  home  in  the  new  world,  believ- 
ing that  better  business  opportunities  might  be 
enjoyed  on  this  side  of  the  water.  They  made 
their  way  direct  to  Clinton  county,  Michigan, 
settling  in  Duplain  township.  Samuel  Bond 
worked  by  the  month  in  Clinton  and  Oakland 
counties,  and  carefully  husbanding  his  financial 
resources  he  was  at  length  enabled  to  begin 
farming  on  his  own  account.  Previous  to  this 
time,  however,  he  went  to  New  York  and  in 
Onondaga  county  followed  farming  for  about 
three  years. 

It  was  during  that  period  on  the  8th  of  De- 
cember,   1 88 1,   that  Mr.   Bond  was  united   in 
marriage  to  Miss  Ellen  C.  Oliver,  a  native  of 
Onondaga  county,  where  she  was  reared  and 
spent   her    girlhood    days.     Her    father,    John 
Oliver,  was  a  native  of  England,  in  which  coun- 
try he  was  reared  and  married,  and  on  crossing 
the  Atlantic  to    the   new    world   he    settled  in 
Onondaga  county,  New  York.     Following  his 
marriage  Samuel  Bond  and  his  brother  Charles 
purchased  eighty  acres  of  land  in  Duplain  town- 
ship, whereon  they  lived,  our  subject  there  de- 
voting his  energies  to  farming  for  two  years,  at 
the  end  of  which  time  the  property  was  divided, 
each   taking   forty   acres.     Samuel   Bond   con- 
tinued to  cultivate  and  improve  his  land  there 
for  a  few  years,  after  which  he  sold  out  and 
bought  a  place  in  Bingham  township,  constitut- 
ing a  part  of  the  old  Avery  homestead.    To  its 
further  cultivation  and  development  he  gave  his 
attention  for  six  years  and  in  1892  traded  that 
property  for  his  present  farm.     He  at  first  had 
one  hundred  and  eighty  acres  here  but  he  has 
since  added  forty  acres  so  that  he  has  now  a 
good  property  of  two  hundred  and  twenty  acres. 
He  has  remodeled  the  buildings,  has  set  out 
fruit  and  has  continued  the  work  of  the  fields 
until  his  farm  is  now  a  very  productive  one. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bond  have  six  children,  John 
Henry,  Frank,  Clara,  Frederick,  Dean  and 
Hugh,  all  of  whom  are  at  home.  They  also  lost 
a  son,  Clarence,  twin  brother  of  Clara,  who  died 
at  the  age  of  eight  weeks.  The  parents  are 
members  of  the  Christian  church  at  Duplain, 
and  politically  Mr.  Bond  is  an  earnest  repub- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


lican,  never  faltering  in  his  allegiance  to  the 
party.  He  came  to  this  country  empty-handed 
but  by  untiring  effort  and  well  directed  labor 
has  accumulated  a  handsome  competence  and 
his  brother,  Charles  Bond,  is  likewise  a  pros- 
perous farmer  of  Duplain  township.  These 
brothers  are  indeed  self-made  men,  who,  from 
a  humble  financial  position  have  worked  their 
way  steadily  upward  to  the  plane  of  affluence, 
each  having  a  large  and  valuable  farm  which 
has  been  acquired  through  honorable  means. 
They  have  become  respected  citizens  of  the 
county  of  their  adoption  and  are  well  worthy 
of  representation  in  this  volume. 


FRANK  M.  SPAULDING. 

Frank  M.  Spaulding,  conducting  a  successful 
hardware  and  plumbing  business  in  St.  Johns, 
was  born  in  this  city,  November  4,  1861,  his 
parents  being  Hon.  O.  L.  and  Minerva  (Mead) 
Spaulding,  the  former  a  native  of  Jaffrey,  New 
Hampshire,  and  the  latter  of  Lockport,  New 
York.  The  father  was  one  of  the  honored  and 
distinguished  citizens  of  this  state,  his  life  hav- 
ing been  one  of  extraordinary  activity  and  use- 
fulness. He  was  born  in  1833. and  at  the  age 
of  twenty-five  years  became  a  member  of  the 
bar,  since  which  time  he  has  practiced  his  pro- 
fession, his  ability  placing  him  in  the  front 
ranks  among  the  leading  representatives  of  the 
legal  fraternity  in  this  state.  His  scholarly  at- 
tainments and  public-spirited  devotion  to  the 
general  good  have  likewise  qualified  him  for 
leadership  in  other  lines  of  activity  and  his 
career  has  been  an  honor  to  the  state  which  has 
honored  him.  He  has  held  the  office  of  regent 
of  the  University  of  Michigan,  was  secretary 
of  state  for  two  terms,  represented  his  district 
in  the  forty-seventh  congress  and  was  assistant 
secretary  of  the  treasury  under  President  Ben- 
jamin Harrison.  Three  times  he  was  appointed 
special  agent  of  the  United  States  treasury  and 
was  appointed  chairman  of  the  commission  to 
the  Hawaiian  Islands  in  1883.  He  has  also 
held  nearly  all  of  the  offices  in  the  gift  of  a 
local  constituency  and  in  his  early  manhood  he 


gave  proof  of  his  loyalty  to  his  country  by  his 
active  service  in  the  Union  army.  He  went  to  the 
front  as  captain  of  Company  A,  Twenty-third 
Michigan  Volunteers  and  was  promoted  from 
grade  to  grade  until  he  retired  as  brigadier 
general.  He  has  since  1857  regarded  St.  Johns 
as  his  home,  although  state  and  national  service 
has  at  times  caused  his  residence  elsewhere. 
Faultless  in  honor,  stainless  in  reputation  and 
fearless  in  conduct— such  has  been  his  life 
record.  His  scholarly  attainments,  his  states- 
menship,  his  reliable  judgment  and  his  charm- 
ing powers  of  conversation  would  have  enabled 
him  to  ably  fill  and  grace  any  position,  however 
exalted,  and  he  is  no  less  honored  in  public  than 
loved  in  private  life. 

Frank  M.  Spaulding  was  the  only  child  born 
to  his  parents,  but  he  has  three  half-brothers 
and  a  half-sister.  His  early  education  was  ac- 
quired in  the  public  schools  of  St.  Johns,  where 
he  continued  until  he  had  become  a  high-school 
student.  He  entered  business  life  as  an  employe 
of  Governor  David  Jerome  at  Saginaw,  Michi- 
gan, acting  as  salesman  in  his  hardware  store, 
where  he  continued  for  six  years.  Later  he  be- 
gan business  on  his  own  account  in  that  city, 
becoming  a  member  of  the  hardware  firm  of 
Spaulding  &  Stark,  the  junior  member  being 
Charles  Stark,  who  soon  afterward  bought  out 
Mr.  Spaulding's  interest,  and  he  then  came  to 
St.  Johns.  Here  he  was  chosen  secretary  and 
treasurer  of  the  Whipple  Harrow  Company  and 
in  1889  he  purchased  an  interest  in  the  hard- 
ware business,  then  conducted  under  the  name 
of  Nixon  &  Company.  A  year  later  he  bought 
Mr.  Nixon's  interest  and  the  firm  of  Spaulding 
&  Company  has  since  had  a  continuous  exist- 
ence and  has  greatly  increased  the  business, 
which  has  probably  reached  three  times  the 
original  dimensions.  In  connection  with  the 
hardware  trade  they  have  a  complete  shop  for 
plumbing,  tinning  and  other  work  of  that  char- 
acter, and  Mr.  Spaulding,  a  man  of  resourceful 
business  ability  and  keen  discrimination,  is  also 
connected  with  the  Clinton  Butter  Company, 
which  was  established  three  years  ago  and  of 
which  he  has  served  as  treasurer  from  the  be- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


229 


On  the  4th  of  September,  1889,  Mr.  Spauld- 
ing  was  married  to  Eva  Hogan,  a  daughter  of 
George  Hogan,  of  Saginaw,  Michigan,  and 
their  living  children  are  George  Oliver  and 
Mary  Marguerite.  They  also  lost  a  daughter, 
Alta  M.,  who  died  in  1902.  Mr.  Spaulding  is 
fraternally  connected  with  the  Masons,  Knights 
of  Pythias,  Modern  Woodmen  and  the  Royal 
Arcanum.  He  is  one  of  the  progressive  men  of 
St.  Johns.  In  politics  a  republican,  he  has  never 
been  bitterly  partisan,  but  has  been  called  to 
some  local  offices,  serving  as  superintendent  of 
the  poor  since  1896.  He  was  also  president  of 
the  village  for  one  year,  a  member  of  the  board 
of  trustees  for  two  years,  and  for  a  number 
of  years  served  on  the  board  of  the  electric  and 
Clinton  Gal  63 

water  company.  He  has  stood  as  the  champion 
of  all  measures  for  the  public  progress  and  local 
advancement  and  yet  with  little  political  aspir- 
ation for  himself.  He  has  preferred  to  con- 
centrate his  energies  upon  his  business  affairs 
and  is  to-day  numbered  with  the  leading  mer- 
chants of  the  city. 


ALFRED  R.  SMITH. 

Alfred  R.  Smith,  living  on  section  7,  Bath 
township,  dates  his  residence  in  Michigan  from 
1866,  and  since  1868  has  lived  in  Clinton 
county,  where  he  now  owns  and  conducts  a 
farm  of  eighty  acres.  He  was  born  in  Mon- 
roe county,  New  York,  March  28,  1842,  and 
spent  his  youth  in  that  locality,  acquiring  his 
education  in  its  public  schools.  In  December, 
1 86 1,  when  a  young  man  of  nineteen  years,  he 
offered  his  aid  to  his  country  then  involved  in 
the  Civil  war  and  was  enrolled  with  the  volun- 
teers of  Company  G,  Seventy-eighth  New  York 
Infantry.  His  regiment  was  attached  to  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac  until  1863,  under  com- 
mand of  General  Pope,  and  in  the  year  men- 
tioned was  transferred  to  the  Western  Army, 
with  which  Mr.  Smith  served  until  the  close 
of  the  war.  The  first  engagement  in  which  he 
participated  was  at  Cedar  Mountain  in  1862, 
and  later  he  was  in  the  second  battle  of  Bull 


Run.  Becoming  ill,  he  was  in  the  hospital  for 
a  time  and  later  he  participated  in  the  engage- 
ments of  Chancellorsville,  Gettysburg  and 
Kenesaw  Mountain.  Being  wounded  by  a  gun^ 
shot  in  the  left  breast  he  was  disabled  for  three 
months  and  later  served  on  detached  duty,  act- 
ing as  a  nurse  in  the  hospital  for  three  months. 
Subsequently  he  joined  Sherman's  army  at 
Goldsboro,  North  Carolina,  and  was  mustered 
out  at  Bladensburg,  Maryland.  While  at  Hart's 
Island,  New  York,  he  was  honorably  discharged 
and  in  July,  1865,  returned  to  his  home.  It 
will  be  seen  from  the  account  of  the  battles  in 
which  he  participated  that  he  traveled  many 
miles  from  the  south  and  was  in  a  number  of 
the  most  hotly  contested  engagements. 

When  the  war  was  over  Mr.  Smith  went  to 
the  oil  regions  of  Pennsylvania,  where  he  re- 
mained for  a  few  months,  and  in  1866  he  came 
westward  to  Michigan,  where  for  two  years 
he  was  employed  in  the  pine  woods.  In  1868 
he.  located  in  Clinton  county,  taking  up  his 
abode  in  Dewitt  township,  where  he  purchased 
a  tract  of  land  that  was  wild  and  unimproved. 
Here  he  developed  a  farm  in  due  course  of  time. 
Eventually  he  sold  the  property  and  removed  to 
Lansing,  where  he  conducted  the  Smith  Hotel, 
a  temperance  house,  for  one  year.  On  the  ex- 
piration of  that  period  he  bought  a  farm  in 
Dewitt  township,  whereon  he  lived  for  eight 
years  and  on  selling  that  property  went  to  Colo- 
rado but  soon  returned  to  this  state  and  pur- 
chased the  place  upon  which  he  now  resides. 
He  has  cleared  it,  making  substantial  improve- 
ments thereon,  and  now  has  eighty  acres  of 
good  land,  which  is  productive  and  valuable  and 
is  the  visible  evidence  of  his  life  of  thrift  and 
enterprise. 

On  the  30th  of  June,  '1869,  Mr.  Smith  was 
married  to  Miss  Julia  McGonigal,  who  was  born 
in  Shiawassee  county,  Michigan,  and  is  a  daugh- 
ter of  Dennis  McGonigal,  one  of  the  early  set- 
tlers of  that  part  of  the  state.  There  are  five 
children  of  this  marriage:  Alfred  E.,  living  in 
New  York  state;  Frank  G.,  of  Ohio;  Ella  M.; 
Nettie,  the  wife  of  Professor  William  E.  Lay- 
cock,  principal  of  the  schools  of  Bath;  and 
Glen  O. 

For  almost   thirty-seven   years   Mr.    Smith 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


has  been  a  resident  of  Clinton  county,  who  is 
recognized  as  one  of  the  honest  yeomen  of  Bath 
township.  In  his  political  views  he  is  a  stanch 
republican  but  has  never  sought  or  desired  office. 
He  fought  for  the  preservation  of  the  Union 
in  the  Civil  war  and  yet  carries  the  scars  of  bat- 
tle received  in  defense  of  the  old  flag.  The 
ranks  of  the  old  soldiers  are  fast  being  dis- 
seminated but  Mr.  Smith  with  others  remains 
to  tell  the  story  of  the  campaigns  of  the  south 
and  the  movements  of  the  armies  which  es- 
tablished the  perpetuity  of  the  Union. 


WILLIAM  GILLISON. 

William  Gillison  is  a  representative  of  one 
of  the  pioneer  families  of  Clinton  county  and 
was  born  on  the  old  family  homestead  in  Bing- 
ham township,  December  18,  1873,  his  par- 
ents being  George  and  Ann  (Hufton)  Gillison. 
The  father  was  born  in  Lincolnshire,  England, 
December  23,  1845,  his  parents  being  Thomas 
and  Lucy  (Lindley)  Gillison,  both  of  whom 
were  natives  of  England,  who  came  to  the 
United  States  in  1856,  settling  in  Clarence 
township,  Erie  county,  New  York,  where  they 
lived  until  1863.  That  year  witnessed  their 
arrival  in  Clinton  county,  where  Thomas  Gil- 
lison purchased  the  old  Richardson  farm  in 
Bingham  township,  whereon  he  and  his  wife 
both  spent  their  remaining  days, 

George  Gillison,  who  began  his  education 
in  England,  continued  his  studies  in  the 
schools  of  New  York  and  after  coming  to  this 
township  with  his  parents  he  remained  under 
the  parental  roof  until  twenty-five  years  of  age, 
when  he  removed  to  Chapin  township,  Lapeer 
county,  working  on  the  Chapin  estate  for  three 
years.  On  the  expiration  of  that  period  he  re- 
turned to  this  county  in  1873  and  settled  on 
forty  acres  of  land  in  Bingham  township,  which 
he  had  previously  purchased.  He  continued 
there  for  ten  years,  when  he  sold  and  bought 
seventy-four  acres  of  the  Richardson  farm,  on 
which  he  has  since  made  his  home.    All  of  the 


improvements  upon  the  property  are  evidences 
of  his  handiwork,  thrift  and  progressive  spirit, 
for  he  has  reclaimed  the  farm  from  a  marshy 
swamp  and  transformed  it  to  its  present  pros- 
perous condition.  In  May,  1870,  he  was 
united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Ann  Hufton,  a 
daughter  of  George  Hufton,  of  Bingham  town- 
ship, and  they  became  the  parents  of  two  chil- 
dren, William  and  Mamie,  the  latter  living 
with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  R.  E.  Hicks,  of  Bingham 
township.  Mrs.  Gillison  departed  this  life  in 
January,  1879,  and  f°r  his  second  wife  Mr. 
Gillison  chose  Lizzie  Blank,  a  daughter  of  John 
Blank,  of  Ovid  township.  Of  the  six  children 
of  this  marriage  the  four  youngest  are  still 
living:  Edward,  Benjamin,  Albert  and  Ar- 
thur, all  upon  the  home  farm  with  their  father. 

William  Gillison  was  educated  in  the  dis- 
trict schools  until  thirteen  years  of  age.  He 
was  reared  by  his  grandparents  until  their 
deaths  broke  up  the  home,  when  he  returned  to 
the  home  of  his  father,  who  in  the  meantime 
had  married  again  and  with  whom  he  remained 
until  twenty-one  years  of  age.  He  then  pur- 
sued a  commercial  course  in  Cleary  Business 
College  at  Ypsilanti,  from  which  he  was  grad- 
uated in  December,  1895.  He  then  spent  one 
year  in  Detroit,  after  which  he  returned  to 
Clinton  county  and  took  up  his  abode  again 
upon  his  grandfather's  farm,  which  had  been 
his  home  for  so  many  years.  Here  he  yet  re- 
sides and  takes  pride  in  improving  the  prop- 
erty and  the  home  of  his  boyhood,  where  are 
still  seen  sonie  of  the  early  landmarks,  includ- 
ing a  part  of  the  old  orchard  which  was  set 
out  before  his  grandfather  bought  the  farm. 
Some  of  the  buildings,  too,  are  still  standing 
that  were  erected  in  1870.  The  grandfather 
died  January  10,  1887,  and  his  widow  passed 
away  November  17,  1889,  at  which  time 
George  Gillison  was  appointed  administrator 
of  the  estate.  William  Gillison  in  his  operation 
of  the  farm  shows  thorough  and  intimate 
knowledge  with  the  best  methods  of  agricul- 
ture and  in  his  work  is  at  all  times  practical 
and  energetic. 

On  the  1st  of  January,  1896,  occurred  the 
marriage  of  William  Gillison  and  Miss  Maryett 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  WILLIAM  GILLISON. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


233 


Colby,  a  daughter  of  Henry  Colby,  of  Ypsi- 
lanti!  Her  parents  were  among  the  early  set- 
tlers'in  the  vicinity  of  Ypsilanti,  where  they 
are  still  living  upon  a  farm.  ^  They  had  previ- 
ously resided  in  Kansas,  where  Mrs.  Gillison 
was  born.  She  has  but  one  sister  living  in  this 
county,  Mrs.  Floyd  Tabor,  who  resides  in 
Bingham  township.  Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gilli- 
son have  been  born  four  children,  of  whom 
Leonard,  Lawrence  and  Leslie  are  all  living, 
while  Lester  died  May  26,  1903. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Gillison  is  an 
earnest  and  unfaltering  republican  and  in  1904 
was  elected  township  clerk,  to  which  office  he 
was  re-elected  in  1905,  so  that  he  is  the  present 
incumbent.  He  is  likewise  a  member  of  St. 
John's  camp,  No.  2387,  M.  W.  A.,  in  which  he 
holds  the  office  of  watchman.  A  young  and 
enterprising  farmer,  he  is  well  known  in  the 
county  in  which  the  greater  part  of  his  life 
has  been  passed  and  during  almost  the  entire 
time  he  has  resided  upon  one  farm. 


DILAZON  L.  STICHLER. 

Dilazon  L.  Stichler,  an  agriculturist  of  Vic- 
tor township,  his  home  being  on  section  17,  is 
one  of  the  old  settlers  of  Michigan,  few  of  its 
residents  having  longer  remained  within  its 
borders,  for  Mr.  Stichler  took  up  his  abode  in 
Michigan  in  1844.  He  has  lived  in  Clinton 
county  since  1868  and  is  one  of  the  worthy 
citizens  that  Ohio  has  furnished  to  the  state. 
His  birth  occurred  in  Buffalo,  New  York,  Sep- 
tember 3,  1835.  His  father,  George  Stichler, 
was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  where  he  spent 
the  days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth,  and  when  a 
young  man  went  to  Ohio,  where  he  was  mar- 
ried to  Miss  Lucy  Waldo,  a  native  of  Vermont, 
in  which  state  she  was  reared.  Mr.  Stichler 
was  a  carpenter  and  joiner  by  trade  and  fol- 
lowed that  pursuit  in  early  manhood.  The  year 
1844  witnessed  his  arrival  in  Michigan,  at 
which  time  he  established  his  home  in  Flint, 
where  he  was  connected  with  building  pursuits. 
He  did  work,  however,  in  a  number  of  counties 


and   in    1853   removed   to   Shiawassee  county, 
where  he  located  on  a  farm. 

Dilazon  L.  Stichler  was  reared  to  manhood 
in  this  state  with  fair  common-school  ad- 
vantages in  his  youth.  He  learned  the  carpen- 
ter's and  joiner's  trade  under  the  direction  of 
his  father  and  later  followed  contracting  and 
building  in  Shiawassee  county  for  a  number  of 
years.  Subsequently  with  his  earnings  he  in- 
vested in  forty  acres  of  land  in  that  county  and 
devoted  his  energies  to  farming  for  a  few  years. 
He  was  united  in  marriage  in  Woodhull,  Janu- 
ary i,  1857,  to  Miss  Mary  Everts,  who  was  a 
native  of  Tompkins  county,  New  York.  She 
came  to  Michigan  in  her  childhood  days  and 
was  reared  in  Shiawassee  county. 

Following  his  marriage  Mr.  Stichler  worked 
at   his   trade    for   a   number   of   years   and   in 
Lansing  he  assisted  in  the  construction  of  the 
old  capitol  and  also  in  the  building  of  the  Agri- 
cultural  College.      He  likewise  worked  at  his 
trade  in  Owosso  and  other  towns  and  subse- 
quently he  bought  land  and  located  on  a  farm 
in  Shiawassee  county.     At  a  later  date  he  in- 
vested in  a  farm  in  Washtenaw  county,  where 
he  carried  on  general  agricultural  pursuits  for 
four  years,  and  in  1868  he  removed  to  Clinton 
county,  purchasing  eighty  acres  of  land,  where 
he  now  resides.     He  then  located  in  the  woods 
and  cleared  off  the  timber,  fenced  his  land  and 
opened  up  a  farm.     He  first  built  a  log  house 
which  remained  his  home  for  a  few  years,  after 
which  he  erected  a  good  neat  two-story  resi- 
dence, also  two  good  barns  and  other  substantial 
outbuildings.     He  planted  an  orchard  and  set 
out  much  small  fruit  and  has  an  attractive  and 
productive  farm,  the  value  of  which  has  greatly 
appreciated  because  of  the  care  and  labor  which 
he  has  bestowed  upon  it.     He  has  likewise  in- 
vested in  more  land  and  owns  two  eighty-acre 
tracts   and  two   forty-acre  tracts,   all   valuable 
farming  property.     In  connection  with  the  till- 
ing of  the  soil  he  has  been  engaged  in  breed- 
ing and  dealing  in  high  grade  shorthorn  cattle 
and  this  branch  of  his  business  has  proved  quite 
profitable. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Stichler  have  become  the  par- 
ents of  eleven  children,  of  whom  five  are  yet 


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234 


PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


living  as  follows :  Wallace,  a  farmer  of  Clinton 
county;  Nettie,  the  wife  of  Fred  Dickinson,  of 
Grand  Ledge;  Grant,  who  owns  and  operates 
a  farm  adjoining  his  father's  place;  D.  L.,  Jr., 
who  is  also  a  farmer  of  Clinton  county;  and  R. 
D.,  who  is  married  and  assists  in  the  operation 
of  the  home  farm.  Of  the  six  children  who 
have  passed  away,  Clarence,  the  first  born,  died 
when  three  years  old;  Herbert  grew  to  man- 
hood, married  and  died  in  1896;  Eva  died  at 
the  age  of  four  years;  Ida  when  about  thirteen 
years  of  age;  Rupert  at  the  age  of  nine  years; 
and  Jessie  when  five  years  old. 

Mr.  Stichler  is  deeply  interested  in  political 
affairs  and  keeps  well  informed  on  the  questions 
and  issues  of  the  day.  He  cast  his  first  presi- 
dential ballot  for  John  C.  Fremont  in  1856  and 
has  voted  for  each  presidential  nominee  of  the 
republican  party  down  to  the  present  time.  He 
has  never  sought  or  desired  office,  however, 
preferring  to  give  his  attention  to  his  farm  and 
business  interests.  He  is  a  believer  in  good 
schools  and  in  the  employment  of  competent 
teachers,  and  for  some  years  has  been  an  able 
member  of  the  school  board.  He  and  his  wife 
are  members  of  the  United  Brethren  church. 
For  sixty-seven  years  he  has  been  a  resident 
of  Michigan  and  of  Clinton  county  for  thirty- 
seven  years  and  has  therefore  largely  witnessed 
the  growth  and  development  of  the  state.  In 
his  business  operations  he  has  aided  in  the  im- 
provement of  a  number  of  Michigan  cities  but 
is  now  thoroughly  identified  with  the  people  of 
Clinton  county,  with  whom  he  has  been  as- 
sociated for  more  than  a  third  of  a  century.  His 
acquaintance  is  wide  and  favorable,  and  the  es- 
teem of  a  large  circle  of  friends  is  cordially  ex- 
tended to  him. 


ZEPHANIAH  SEXTON. 

Zephaniah  Sexton,  thrifty  and  successful  in 
his  farming  operations,  owns  and  operates  one 
hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  on  section  13, 
Olive  township,  and  has  devoted  his  energies  to 
the  cultivation  and  development  of  this  place 
since    1867.     He  was  born  in  Clark  county, 


Ohio,  May  23,  1839,  while  his  father, 
Zephaniah  Sexton,  Sr.,  was  a  native  of  Ver- 
mont. When  seventeen  years  of  age  he  and  his 
mother  removed  to  Canada,  locating  in  On- 
tario, where  he  was  afterward  married.  Sub- 
sequently he  went  to  New  York  state,  where  he 
resided  for  a  few  years  and  then  returned  to 
Canada,  settling  near  Berlin.  There  he  en- 
gaged in  farming  for  several  years  and  while 
residing  there  he  lost  his  first  wife  and  was 
married  again,  his  second  wife  being  Elvira 
Clemens.  It  was  of  this  marriage  that  the  sub- 
ect  of  this  review  was  born.  On  again  leaving 
Canada  the  father  took  up  his  abode  in  Ohio, 
where  he  lived  upon  a  farm  until  1843,  when 
he  left  the  Buckeye  state  for  Illinois,  establish- 
ing his  home  in  Hancock  county,  where  he 
bought  a  tract  of  land  and  spent  his  remaining 
days.  He  was  not  long  permitted  to  enjoy  his 
new  home,  however,  for  his  death  occurred  the 
following  year,  1844.  His  wife  survived  him 
for  many  years  and  died  at  the  home  of  her 
son,  Mr.  Sexton  of  this  review,  in  1895,  at  the 
age  of  eighty-nine  years.  There  were  five  chil- 
dren in  the  family,  of  whom  four  are  yet  liv- 
ing: James,  a  resident  of  Grayville,  Illinois; 
Mr.  Sexton,  of  this  history;  Job  W.,  of  Clinton 
county;  and  Sarah,  the  wife  of  Samuel  Barrett, 
of  Victor  township.  A  daughter,  Julia,  became 
Mrs.  Stocker  and  died  about  1902. 

Zephaniah  Sexton  accompanied  his  parents 
on  their  removal  from  Ohio  to  Illinois  and  in 
1846  came  to  Michigan  with  his  mother, 
settling  in  Oakland  county.  Their  home  was- 
in  Oxford  and  he  was  reared  and  educated 
there.  In  early  manhood  he  made  a  trip  to  the 
west  in  1857,  visiting  Illinois  and  Kansas.. 
After  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  war  he  re- 
sponded to  the  country's  call  for  troops,  enlist- 
ing at  Pontiac,  Michigan,  on  the  2d  of  Sep- 
tember, 1 86 1,  for  three  years'  service.  He  was 
assigned  to  Company  D,  Second  Michigan  In- 
fantry, and  going  to  the  south  he  served 
throughout  the  period  of  hostilities,  re-enlisting- 
and  thus  becoming  a  veteran.  He  was  made 
corporal  May  4,  1862,  and  became  color  guard. 
On  the  2d  of  March,  1863,  he  was  promoted  to 
sergeant  and  re-enlisted  December  31,  1863,  at 


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ZEPHANIAH  SEXTON. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


237 


Blaine's  crossroads  farm,  being  mustered  in 
January  1,  1864.  He  was  with  the  army  for 
nearly  four  years  and  was  first  under  fire  at 
Munson  Hill,  the  regiment  being  attached  to 
the  division  under  General  McClellan,  while 
later  they  constituted  a  part  of  Burnside's  com- 
mand. Mr.  Sexton  was  also  in  the  siege  of 
Vicksburg  and  at  Knoxville.  The  first  im- 
portant engagement  in  which  he  participated 
was  at  Williamsburg  in  the  spring  of  1862. 
He  was  also  in  the  battles  at  Fair  Oaks,  Charles 
City  Crossroads,  Malvern  Hill,  the  second  bat- 
tle of  Bull  Run  and  Fredericksburg  and  after- 
ward was  transferred  to  the  west  with  the  army 
operating  in  Kentucky.  It  was  subsequent  to 
this  time  that  he  participated  in  the  siege  of 
Vicksburg  and  took  part  in  the  two  battles  of 
Jackson.  He  veteranized  at  Charles  City  Cross- 
roads in  Tennessee  and  was  then  granted  a  fur- 
lough but  because  he  was  ill  in  the  hospital  at 
Louisville  he  was  only  able  to  spend  one-half  of 
this  time — fifteen  days — at  home.  He  after- 
ward served  on  detached  duty  in  a  regimental 
hospital  and  was  mustered  out  at  the  close  of 
the  war,  July  28,  1865,  being  honorably  dis- 
charged on  the  8th  of  August,  1865. 

The  following  year  Mr.  Sexton  arrived  in 
Clinton  county  and  purchased  the  farm  upon 
which  he  now  resides.  It  was  then  a  tract  of 
timber  land,  on  which  not  a  tree  had  been  cut. 
The  following  year  he  took  up  his  abode  on 
this  place  and  began  to  clear  and  fence  the 
property.  Soon  the  sound  of  his  ax  awakened 
the  echoes  of  the  forest  and  he  continued  the 
arduous  task  of  cutting  down  the  trees,  grub- 
bing out  the  stumps  and  clearing  the  fields  until 
he  had  his  farm  in  an  excellent  state  of  culti- 
vation. He  has  erected  a  large  two-story  resi- 
dence, also  a  commodious  basement  barn  and 
granary,  a  sheep  pen  and  other  necessary  sheds 
and  buildings  and  in  fact  has  exerted  his  energy 
along  lines  of  labor  that  have  proved  practical 
and  profitable.  He  has  not  only  cultivated  the 
cereals  best  adapted  to  the  soil  and  climate  but 
has  also  raised  good  horses  and  cattle  and  in 
recent  years  has  made  a  specialty  of  raising 
Shropshire  sheep,  these  different  branches  of  his 
business  returning  to  him  an  excellent  income. 


In  Oakland  county  on  the  3d  of  July,  1867, 
Mr.  Sexton  was  married  to  Miss  Mary  Jane 
Doty,  who  died  in  1870,  leaving  a  daughter, 
Carrie  A.,  now  the  wife  of  John  H.  Chaffee, 
who  is  carrying  on  her  father's  farm.  Their 
children  are  Erma  Irene,  Russell  Andrew, 
Minaor  Joyce  and  Julia  Adelia.  Mr.  Sexton 
married  again  in  Oakland  county  on  Christmas 
day  of  1872,  when  Sarah  E.  Mann,  of  that 
county,  became  his  wife.  She  died  November 
18,  1877,  and  the  two  children  born  of  that 
marriage;  Verna  Lee  and  Nettie  E.,  are  also 
deceased.  In  1885  in  Oakland  county  Mr.  Sex- 
ton wedded  Miss  Anna  Neal,  of  that  county, 
and  this  wife  died  in  December,   1886. 

In  his  political  views  and  affiliation  Mr.  Sex- 
ton is  a  stanch  republican,  having  supported  the 
party  since  its  organization.  He  served  on  the 
board  of  supervisiors  of  his  township  for  one 
term,  has  been  justice  of  the  peace  for  a  num- 
ber of  years,  was  commissioner  of  highways  for 
two  terms  and  drainage  commissioner  for  four 
years  and  in  all  these  offices  has  discharged  his, 
duties  with  promptness  and  fidelity.  He  is  a 
delegate  to  the  county,  judicial  and  state  con- 
ventions and  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  leading 
republicans  of  the  community,  his  opinions 
carrying  weight  in  councils  of  his  party.  He 
is  a  member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity  of 
Laingsburg  and  also  01  the  chaptef  slid  com- 
mandery  at  St.  Johns  and  he  likewise  belongs 
to  the  Grand  Army  post  at  the  county  seat.  In 
every  relation  of  life  Mr.  Sexton  has  been  found 
true  to  the  duties  which  have  devolved  upon 
him  and  his  labors  have  been  a  co-operant  and 
helpful  factor  in  the  substantial  improvement 
and  development  of  this  section  of  the  state. 


BENJAMIN  A.  KYES. 

Benjamin  A.  Kyes,  who  is  familiarly  called 
"Ben"  by  his  numerous  friends,  being  one  of 
the  popular  and  prominent  citizens  of  his  lo- 
cality, is  actively  and  successfully  engaged  in 
farming  on  section  15,  Dewitt  township,  where 
he  operates  two  hundred  and  eighty  acres  of 


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238 


PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


land  within  six  miles  of  Lansing.  He  is  one 
of  the  native  sons  of  Michigan,  his  birth  having 
occurred  in  Barry  county,  May  28,  1866.  His 
father,  Perry  Kyes,  was  also  born  in  this  state, 
his  natal  place  being  Jackson  county  and  the 
date  March  31,  1832.  The  grandfather, 
Samuel  Kyes,  was  a  native  of  Vermont  and  was 
a  son  of  John  Kyes.  The  family  was  es- 
tablished in  the  Green  Mountain  state  at  an 
early  period  in  its  development  and  John  Kyes 
removed  from  Vermont  to  New  York,  where 
his  son,  Samuel  Kyes,  was  reared  to  manhood. 
He  there  married  Amanda  Partlow,  a  native  of 
the  Empire  state,  and  they  were  the  first  repre- 
sentatives of  the  name  in  Michigan,  settling  in 
Jackson  county  about  1830.  There  Samuel 
Kyes  owned  and  improved  a  number  of  farms, 
reared  his  family  in  that  county,  and  spent  his 
remaining  days  there. 

Perry  Kyes  grew  to  manhood  in  Jackson 
county  and  was  married  in  1864  to  Mrs.  Sarah 
M.  Record,  a  widow,  whose  birth  occurred  at 
Poughkeepsie,  Dutchess  county,  New  York,  her 
father  being  William  Van  Tossle.  Subsequent 
to  his  marriage  Perry  Kyes  followed  the  occu- 
pation of  farming  in  Jackson  county  for  a 
number  of  years  and  during  the  season  operated 
a  threshing  machine.  In  1868  he  came  to  Clin- 
ton county  and  bought  a  farm  in  Olive  town- 
ship, whereon  he  devoted  his  attention  to 
general  agricultural  pursuits  for  a  number  of 
years.  He  then  sold  that  property  and  pur- 
chased land  in  Dewitt  township,  where  he  now 
makes  his  home,  being  one  of  the  respected  and 
worthy  agriculturists  of  the  community.  Unto 
him  and  his  wife  have  been  born  four  children, 
three  sons  and  a  daughter:  Samuel,  who  is  a 
business  man  of  Lansing;  Herman,  also  resid- 
ing in  the  capitol  city;  Benjamin  A.,  of  this 
review;  and  Kittie  M.,  the  wife  of  S.  D.  Felton, 
a  farmer  of  Watertown.  By  her  first  marriage 
Mrs.  Kyes  had  one  son,  Edwin,  who  is  now  a 
farmer  of  Olive  township,  and  also  a  daugh- 
ter, Lizzie,  deceased. 

Ben  Kyes  was  reared  to  manhood  in  Clinton 
county,  acquiring  his  education  in  the  common 
schools  and  in  Lansing  Business  College,  where- 
by he  was  well  equipped  for  life's  practical  and 


responsible  duties.  After  completing  his  studies 
he  became  a  teacher  in  the  business  college, 
being  in  charge  of  the  penmanship  department 
for  a  year.  Subsequent  to  his  marriage  he  took 
charge  of  and  has  since  carried  on  the  West 
farm  and  in  connection  with  the  cultivation  of 
the  cereals  best  adapted  to  soil  and  climate  he 
raises  and  sells  stock  and  to  some  extent  en- 
gages in  dairying,  while  for  five  years  in  con- 
nection with  his  father-in-law,  Mr.  West,  he 
has  been  engaged  in  buying,  bailing  and  ship- 
ping hay. 

On  Christmas  day  of  1891  Mr.  Kyes  was 
married  on  the  farm  where  he  now  resides  to 
Miss  Edith  West,  a  daughter  of  Andrew  S. 
West,  now  of  Lansing.  Her  father  was  born 
in  Huntington,  Ohio,  January  6,  1846,  and  is 
a  son  of  Lyman  and  Nina  (Chapman)  West, 
both  natives  of  Massachusetts.  The  family 
came  to  Michigan  in  1867,  when  Andrew  S. 
was  twenty-one  years  of  age,  and  purchased  the 
Thomas  Robbins  farm  in  Dewitt  township, 
Clinton  county,  where  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kyes  now 
reside.  Here  Lyman  West  died  when  about 
seventy-one  years  of  age  and  his  son  Andrew 
continued  to  make  the  farm  his  home  until 
February,  1901,  when  he  removed  to  Lansing. 
He  is  a  stanch  supporter  of  the  republican  party 
and  has  taken  quite  an  active  and  prominent  part 
in  local  politics,  serving  as  supervisor  of  Clin- 
ton county  and  as  chairman  of  the  board,  and 
justice  of  the  peace  for  five  years.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Royal  Arcanum  and  the  Grange, 
was  the  first  secretary  of  Dewitt  Grange  and 
afterward  master  of  the  same,  and  has  also 
been  master  of  Capital  Grange.  His  only  child 
is  Mrs.  Kyes,  who  was  born  and  reared  on  the 
home  farm  and  completed  her  education  in  the 
Lansing  high  school.  Three  children  grace  the 
marriage  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kyes:  Neenah  A., 
Lennah  E.  and  Mildred. 

In  his  political  affiliation  Mr.  Kyes  has  fol- 
lowed in  the  political  footsteps  of  his  father, 
both  gentlemen  being  stanch  democrats  where 
national  issues  are  involved,  while  locally  they 
are  independent  and  support  the  best  men  re- 
gardless of  party  affiliation.  Perry  Kyes  has 
served  as  justice  of  the  peace  for  a  number  of 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


239 


years,  while  B.  A.  Kyes  is  now  a  member  of 
the  board  of  reviews,  is  likewise  a  member  of 
the  school  board  and  district  clerk.  He  and  his 
wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church  at  Gunnisonville  and  he  is  affiliated  with 
the  blue  lodge  of  Masons  at  Dewitt.  His  social 
qualities,  deference  for  the  opinion  of  others, 
good  nature  and  genuine  personal  worth  have 
made  B.  A.  Kyes  a  popular  citizen  of  his  com- 
munity. 


WILLIAM  M.  SMITH. 

William  M.  Smith,  who  is  now  serving  for 
the  third  term  as  prosecuting  attorney  of  Clin- 
ton county  and  makes  his  home  in  St.  Johns,  is 
a  native  of  Bath  township,  this  county,  born 
April  27,    1870.     His  parents,  James  M.   and 
Hannah  (Golden)   Smith,  were  natives  of  Ire- 
land and  it  was  during  the  period  of  the  Civil 
war  that  the  father  came  to  Clinton  county, 
purchasing  a  tract  of  land  in  Bath  township. 
When  he  bought  his  farm  it  was  situated  in  the 
midst  of  the  green  woods  and  was  destitute  of 
improvement,   but   he   at   once  began   to   clear 
away  the  trees  and  cultivate  the  fields  and  in 
due  course  of  time  he  gathered  rich  harvests. 
He  remained  on  the  old  homestead  until  his 
death,  which  occurred  in  1886,  while  his  wife 
passed  away  there  in  1885.     They  were  promi- 
nent  and   zealous   members   of   the   Methodist 
Episcopal    church,    and    in   his   political    views 
Mr.  Smith  was  a  stalwart  republican.     In  their 
family  were  six  children:  Mattie  A.;  Anna  M., 
who    is    living    in    St.    Johns;    William    M. ; 
Elizabeth  E.,  the  wife  of  Edward  S.  La  Noble, 
of  Bath  township;  George  J.,  who  died  in  1901 
while  a  medical  student  in  the  University  of 
Michigan;  and  Robert  C,  who  is  superintend- 
ent of  schools  at  Schoolcraft,  Michigan. 

William  M.  Smith  acquired  his  early  edu- 
cation largely  through  private  study  and  later 
attended  the  Agricultural  College  at  Lansing, 
Michigan,  for  some  time.  Having  determined 
to  engage  in  the  practice  of  law  as  a  life  work, 
he  then  matriculated  in  the  University  of  Michi- 
gan at  Ann  Arbor,  where  he  studied  law,  and 


was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  Clinton  county  under 
Judge  S.  B.  Daboll  on  the  17th  of  November, 
1894.  The  following  year  he  passed  the  ex- 
amination of  the  state  board  of  education  in 
twenty-one  branches  of  study  and  was  given  a 
life  certificate  as  a  teacher.  Following  his  ad- 
mission to  the  bar  his  attention  was  divided  be- 
tween teaching  and  practice.  For  ten  years  he 
taught  in  the  district  and  village  schools  of 
Clinton  county,  ending  his  work  in  that  direc- 
tion in  Dewitt  in  January,  1897,  since  which 
time  he  has  given  his  undivided  attention  to  his 
law  practice  and  political  duties  which  lie  within 
the  strict  path  of  his  profession. 

In  November,  1896,  Mr.  Smith  was  elected 
on  the  republican  ticket  to  the  office  of  county 
clerk  for  a  term  of  two  years  and  was  re- 
elected in  November,  1898,  for  a  second  term, 
acting  in  that  capacity  until  the  1st  of  January, 
1901.  He  was  chosen  prosecuting  attorney  in 
November,  1900,  entering  upon  the  duties  of 
that  office  on  the  1st  of  January,  following.  He 
was  re-elected  in  1902  and  again  in  1904  and 
is  now  serving  his  third  term  in  that  position. 
He  has  made  a  splendid  record  and  the  expenses 
of  the  prosecution  of  criminal  cases  to  the 
county  has  been  reduced  three  thousand  dollars 
per  annum  since  he  entered  upon  the  duties  of 
the  office.  He  is  a  lawyer  of  marked  ability, 
careful  and  earnest  in  the  preparation  of  his 
cases,  strong  in  his  arguments  and  logical  in 
his  deductions,  and  he  has  won  many  notable 
triumphs  in  the  courts. 

Mr.  Smith  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  political 
leaders  of  his  district  in  republican  circles  and 
in  1904  was  chosen  presidential  elector,  after 
which  he  was  made  chairman  of  the  electoral 
college  for  the  stale  of  Michigan.  He  is  in- 
terested in  all  that  pertains  to  local  progress 
and  national  improvement,  and  his  efforts  have 
been  a  tangible  factor  in  the  welfare  and  up- 
building of  this  section  of  the  state.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity,  which  he 
joined  in  Dewitt,  and  he  has  taken  the  degrees 
of  the  chapter,  council  and  Eastern  Star,  while 
in  St.  Johns  commandery  he  is  generalissimo. 
He  likewise  belongs  to  Moslem  Temple  of  the 
Mystic  Shrine  at  Detroit,  and  in  the  Knights 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


of  Pythias  lodge  is  ex-chancellor  commander. 
He  is  also  connected  with  the  Modern  Wood- 
men of  America,  the  Maccabees  and  the  Grange, 
and  is  a  valued  representative  of  these  various 
organizations  upon  whose  membership  rolls  his 
name  is  found.  He  is  a  man  whose  personal 
worth  is  the  source  of  the  kindly  regard  in 
which  he  is  uniformly  held,  while  in  a  pro- 
fession wherein  individual  merit  is  the  source 
of  all  advancement  he  has  gained  a  creditable 
and  honorable  position. 


DAVID  CLARK. 


Among  the  honored  pioneer  settlers  of  Clin- 
ton county  was  the  Clark  family,  who  at  a  very 
early  period  in  the  development  of  this  part  of 
the  state  took  up  their  abode  in  Eagle  town- 
ship.    David  Clark  of  this  review  was  born  in 
Castleton  township,  Rutland  county,  Vermont, 
June  13,   18 1 7.     When  he  was  five  years  old 
his    parents    removed    to    Putnam    township, 
Washington  county,  New  York,  where  they  re- 
mained for  eight  years  and  then  became  resi- 
dents of  the  township  of  Ticonderoga  in  Essex 
county,   New  York.     When  David  Clark  was 
a  youth  of  sixteen  years,  in  the  latter  part  of 
June,   1833,  the  father  started  with  his  family 
for  Michigan,   traveling  by  canal  boat  to  the 
junction  of  the  Northern  and  Erid  canals  and 
thence    by     line    boat    to     Buffalo,     reaching 
Schenectady   on    the    3d    of   July,  1833.     The 
only  railroad  in  the  state  of  New  York  at  that 
time  was  from  Albany  to  Schenectady.     The 
bridges  over  the  canal  at  that  early  day  were 
built  very  low  and  when  the  boat  passed  under 
it  was  necessary  that  the  passengers  get  down 
on  their  knees  or  lie  down  flat  in  order  to  keep 
from  being  struck  by  the  bridge.     A  distance 
of  about  sixty  miles   was  covered  in  twenty- 
four  hours,  the  boat  being  drawn  by  two  horses. 
At   Buffalo   the    family    took   passage   on   the 
steamer  Sheldon  Thompson  for  Detroit,  where 
most  of  the  family  remained,  while  David  Clark 
and  his  brother  Henry  started  for  Pontiac  in 
order  to  secure  a  team  and  move  the  family  to 


that  place.     They  resided  in  Pontiac  until  Sep- 
tember,   1835.      In  February,    1834,   however, 
Daniel  Clark  in  company  with  Anthony  Niles, 
S.  B.  Groger,  Heman  Thomas  and  John  Ben- 
son started  from  Oakland  county  to  buy  land 
in  the  Grand  River  valley  and  after  investi- 
gating different  localities  decided  to  make  pur- 
chase in  Eagle  township,   Clinton  county.      It 
was  necessary  to  go  to  White  Pigeon  in  order 
to  enter  their  claims,  for  at  that  time  the  land 
office  was   in   that  town.      Daniel   Clark  then 
returned  to  Pontiac  and  on  the  12th  of  May, 
1834,  David  Clark  in  company  with  his  brother 
Daniel,  John  Benson,  Heman  Thomas  and  Cap- 
tain  Scott  started   for  Clinton  county.      They 
traveled   after  the  manner  of  the  times   in   a 
pioneer    settlement,    being    entertained    in    the 
homes   of   different   settlers   when   night  over- 
took them.     While  on  this  trip  Mr.  Clark  first 
saw   an    Indian   powwow.     There   were   about 
three  hundred  braves,  squaws  and  children  and 
the   men    were   adorned    with   war   paint   and 
feathers.     One  of  them  played  on  a  flute  and 
one  beat  a  drum,   while  the  remainder  yelled, 
danced  and  drank  whiskey.    At  length  the  jour- 
ney was  completed,  the  party  reaching  the  home 
of  Anthony  Niles  on  the   19th  of  May,    1834, 
having  traveled  over  what  was  known  as  the 
Englishman's  road   from  Dewitt  to  Portland, 
it  having  been  cut  through  by  some  English- 
men about  a  year  before.     Daniel  Clark  then 
went  to  White  Pigeon  and  purchased  for  his 
father  the   land  which  was   later  occupied   by 
David  Clark.     The  brothers  began  chopping  a 
fallow  in  order  to  sow  wheat  and  the  next  fall 
chopped   about   eight   acres,   after   which    they 
went   to   Pontiac   to   work    in   the  haying  and 
harvest  fields.     In  September  of  the  same  year 
Daniel  and  Henry  Clark  burned  off  the  fallow 
in  Eagle  township  and  fenced  and  sowed  the 
field  to  wheat,  after  which  they  were  employed 
in  Pontiac  through  the  winter.     In  the  spring, 
however,  they  continued  the  work  of  improv- 
ing the  farm  and  planted  their  cleared  land  to 
corn,  potatoes  and  turnips  that  the  family  might 
have  something  to  live  upon  the  following  win- 
ter.    In  September,    1835,  the  father  brought 
his  wife  and  the  other  members  of  the  family 


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DAVID  CLARK. 


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*  ;  ^tf" 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


243 


to  Eagle  township,  locating  on  the  farm  which 
was  the  home  of  David  Clark  until  his  death. 

In  those  early  days  they  had  to  go  to 
Pontiac  to  mill  with  an  ox  team  and  it  re- 
quired about  eight  days  to  make  the  trip,  in 
the  summer  time  they  would  camp  out  by  the 
roadside  at  night,  preparing  their  own  meals 
and  letting  their  oxen  feed  along  the  way. 
They  had  to  go  to  Pontiac  or  Detroit  for  all 
household  goods,  wearing  materials  and  salt  and 
at  that  day  a  barrel  of  salt  cost  five  dollars. 
Much  hard  work  was  to  be  done  in  clearing  the 
farms,  which  were  heavily  timbered  with  oak, 
ash,  beech,  maple,  elm,  basswood,  black  walnut, 
cherry  and  hickory  trees.  When  the  claim  had 
been  entered  the  family  would  clear  a  little  tract 
of  land  in  order  to  build  a  cabin,  usually  living 
with  some  of  the  neighbors  until  the  little  house 
could  be  erected.  Such  pioneer  homes  were 
usually  constructed  of  logs  with  shake  roofs 
and  plank  floors.  There  was  a  mud  and  stick 
chimney  and  the  roof  would  shed  rain  better 
than  it  would  keep  out  the  snow.  In  1836 
many  speculators  came  to  the  country  and  the 
land  office  was  moved  from  White  Pigeon  to 
Bronson  and  in  the  fall  of  that  year  to  Ionia. 
In  the  year  1837  the  legislature  passed  what 
was  called  the  wildcat  banking  law  and  the 
country  became  flooded  with  a  currency  almost 
worthless  and  hard  times  followed,  causing 
much  suffering  among  the  settlers.  In  1836 
the  Newman  family  built  a  saw  and  grist  mill 
at  Portland,  after  which  the  Clarks  went  to 
that  place  instead  of  Pontiac  to  secure  their 
bread  stuffs. 

David  Clark  assisted  in  all  of  the  arduous 
work  of  clearing  and  improving  the  farm  in 
those  early  days  when  grass  was  cut  with  a 
scythe  and  the  grain  with  a  sickle  or  cradle. 
Now  the  mower  is  used  on  the  lawn  and  the 
binder  in  the  harvest  fields.  Cooking  was  done 
over  the  fireplace,  the  kettles  being  hung  from 
hooks  on  the  cranes.  Tallow  candles  were  used 
in  lighting  the  houses  and  there  were  flint 
locks  on  the  guns.  The  clothing  was  made  of 
wool  and  flax  spun  by  the  women  of  the  house- 
hold and  woven  by  them  into  cloth.  Great 
changes  have  since  been  wrought  and  in  all 


the  advancement  of  progress  the  Clark  family 
have  kept  pace.  There  were  no  railroads  in 
those  early  days  and  it  required  as  long  to  make 
a  trip  to  Detroit  as  it  does  to  make  a  trip  to 
New  York  at  the  present  day.  In  the  winter 
the  members  of  the  household  chopped  their 
fallows,  burning  the  logs  in  the  spring  and 
then  planting  their  corn,  potatoes  and  other 
crops.  In  the  winter  of  1842-3  the  snow  fell 
to  a  depth  of  three  feet  on  the  level  and  re- 
mained on  the  ground  until  April.  The  wolves 
caused  considerable  trouble  to  the  settlers  and 
the  Indians  would  not  kill  them,  calling  them 
brother  hunters,  but  when  Clinton  county  was 
organized  the  board  of  supervisors  passed  a 
resolution  to  pay  eight  dollars  for  the  skin  of 
every  wolf  killed  in  the  county  and  the  red 
men  then  began  killing  off  their  "brothers." 

The  Methodist  and  Baptist  ministers  were 
usually  the  first  ones  to  make  their  way  into 
new  settlements  and  would  frequently  hold 
proLracted  meetings,  in  which  sectarianism  was 
a  strong  feature.  Gradually  the  work  of  im- 
provement and  progress  was  carried  on.  In 
1847  tne  legislature  passed  a  law  to  remove  the 
state  capital  from  Detroit  to  Lansing  and  this 
meant  improvement  and  development  for  the 
surrounding  district.  The  first  session  of  the 
legislature  was  held  there  in  1848.  A  plank 
road  was  built  to  Detroit  and  to  Jackson  and 
soon  a  railroad  was  constructed  from  Jackson 
to  Lansing,  while  to-day  Lansing  is  one  of  the 
leading  railroad  centers  of  the  west.  All  this 
was  a  source  of  benefit  to  Clinton  and  Eaton 
counties  and  the  early  settlers  who  remained 
courageously  on  their  farms  and  met  the  hard- 
ships and  discouragements  of  frontier  life  have 
at  length  profited  by  their  labors.  The  Clark 
family  in  the  course  of  time  developed  good 
farms,  improved  with  substantial  buildings. 
David  Clark  always  remained  upon  the  old  fam- 
ily homestead  and  in  the  course  of  years  be- 
came the  owner  of  a  property,  which  through 
the  labors  of  himself  and  brothers  was  trans- 
formed into  a  very  valuable  tract.  He  passed 
away  on  the  24th  of  October,  1905.  All  of 
the  hardships  and  experiences  of  frontier  life 
came  to  him  but  he  persevered  in  his  work  and 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


in  later  years  related  many  interesting  incidents 
of  the  early  days  when  Clinton  county,  far  re- 
moved from  railroads,  seemed  cut  off  from  the 
civilization  of  the  east  by  long  stretches  of 
forest. 


W.  S.  STARKWEATHER. 

On  the  list  of  retired  citizens  in  Elsie  ap- 
pears the  name  of  W.   S.   Starkweather.     He 
is   now   enjoying   a   well   earned   rest   but   for 
years    was     a  prosperous    farmer    of    Clinton 
county  and  also  owned  and  operated  land  in 
Montcalm  county.      He  had  farming  interests 
in    Ovid    and    Duplain    townships    and    was 
actively  engaged  in  the  tilling  of  the  soil  until 
1 90 1,  when  he  removed  to  Elsie  and  purchased 
the  residence  property  that  he  now  owns.     He 
dates  his  residence  in  Michigan  from  1847  and 
in  Clinton  county  from  1856.     He  was  born  at 
Eagle   Harbor,    New   York,   March    14,    1847. 
His   father,    Sidney   Smith   Starkweather,   was 
a  native  of  New  York  and  was  there  reared 
and  married.     He  wedded  Miss  Sarah  Smith, 
a  native  of  Pennsylvania  and* in  order  to  pro- 
vide for  his  family  he  followed  the  millwright's 
trade,  devoting  his  entire  life  to  that  pursuit. 
In    1847   he   removed   westward   to   Michigan, 
locating  first   at   Pontiac,    where   he   was   em- 
ployed at  his  trade,  building  the  first  mill  on 
the  shore  of  Lake  Huron.     It  was  a  sawmill 
and    Mr.     Starkweather    removed    his    family 
there  and  remained  for  a  year,  after  which  he 
returned  to   Pontiac.      In    1856  he  located   in 
the  town  of  Ovid,   Clinton  county,   where  he 
was  also  engaged  in  business  as  a  millwright. 
He  and  his  sons  likewise  cleared  and  opened 
up  a  farm  in  Ovid  township,  whereon  he  made 
his   home   during   his    last    days.      His   death, 
however,    occurred    at    the    residence    of    his 
daughter  in  Oakland  county,  his  wife  having 
passed   away   some   four   years   previous.      In 
their  family  were  twelve  children,  six  of  whom 
reached  adult  age,  of  whom  two  sons  and  two 
daughters  are  yet  living. 

W.   S.   Starkweather  spent  the  days  of  his 
boyhood   and   youth   in   the   usual   manner  of 


farm   lads   in   Ovid   township  and   assisted   in 
the  arduous   task  of  clearing  and   developing 
the  home  place.     He  remained  with  his  father 
until   after  he  had   reached   adult  age  and   in 
1864,    when   a   youth   of   seventeen   years,    he 
responded  to  the  country's  call  for  aid,  enlist- 
ing  in   Company   K,    Thirtieth   Michigan    In- 
fantry.    He  was  detailed  to  take  drafted  men 
to  the  front  and  return  prisoners  to  the  north 
and  thus  he  served  until  the  final  close  of  the 
war,  being  honorably  discharged  in  June,  1865. 
Mr.  Starkweather  then  returned  to  his  home, 
where  he  lived  at  different  intervals  for  several 
years,    working,    however,    at    other    times    in 
other    localities.      He    was    married    in    Ovid 
township,    in    March,    1873,   to   Miss   Amanda 
Acre,  a  native  of  Canada.     In  the  Acre  family 
were  seven  children,  four  sons  and  three  daugh- 
ters :  Joseph,  who  is  living  in  St.  Johns,  Michi- 
gan;   Edward,    a    farmer    residing    near    the 
Colony  in  Duplain  township;  Arthur,  a  resident 
of    Ovid    township;    Grant,    who    is    living    in 
Eagle    township;    Mrs.    Starkweather;    Mary, 
the  wife  of  Harrison  Wilson,  of  Gratiot  county; 
and    Lillie,    the    wife    of   James    Worden,    of 
Elsie.      Mrs.    Starkweather   largely   spent   her 
girlhood  and  youth  in  Clinton  county. 

After  his  marriage  Mr.  Starkweather  rented 
land   in  Ovid  township,   where  he  engaged  in 
farming   for  two  years,   and   subsequently   re- 
moved to  Montcalm  county,  where  he  purchased 
eighty  acres  of  raw  land  and  began  the  develop- 
ment of  a  garm,  transforming  the  tract  into  a 
productive  property.     There  he  lived  for  four 
years, .  after    which    he    sold    that    place    and 
returned   to   Clinton   county,   purchasing   forty 
acres  of  land  in  Duplain  township,  near  Elsie. 
Again  he  began  the  development  and  improve- 
ment of  a  farm  and  subsequently  he  purchased 
the  old  homestead  in  Ovid  township,  to  which 
he  removed,  living  there  for  many  years,  when 
he  sold  the  property  to  his  father,  from  whom 
he  had  purchased  it.     Mr.  Starkweather  of  this 
review  once  more  took  up  his  abode  in  Duplain 
township,  where  he  carried  on  agricultural  pur- 
suits   for  a    few   years,   and   then   traded   the 
place    for    another    farm    of    eighty    acres    in 
Duplain  township.     Settling  thereon  he  greatly 
improved  the  property,   adding  to  it  all  mod- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


245 


ern  equipments  and  accessories.  He  also  built 
a  fine  large  barn  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand 
dollars  and  remodeled  and  improved  the  house. 
In  all  of  his  agricultural  work  he  has  been 
enterprising  antl  progressive,  keeping  in  touch 
with  modern  thought  regarding  agricultural 
interests.  He  has  been  eminently  practical  in 
all  his  work  and  year  by  year  he  has  harvested 
good  crops  and  thus  secured  a  gratifying 
financial  return  for  his  labor.  At  length  he 
sold  out  and  bought  a  home  in  Elsie,  where 
he  has  since  lived  retired.  He  likewise  owns 
another  residence  in  the  town. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Starkweather  have  been 
born  three  daughters,  the  eldest  being  Carrie 
Belle,  the  wife  of  James  White,  of  Lansing, 
Michigan,  by  whom  she  has  a  son,  Vern.  Ruby 
Pearl  is  the  wife  of  Archie  Leavey,  of  Duplain 
township,  and  they  have  two  sons,  Glen  and 
Dale,  and  a  daughter,  Irma.  Nora  is  the  wife 
of  Dow  Bennett,  of  Fairfield,  Michigan,  and 
they  have  two  children,  Almon  and  Ethena. 
The  parents  are  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church,  in  which  Mr.  Starkweather 
is  serving  on  the  board  of  stewards.  He  be- 
longs to  the  Grand  Army  post  at  Elsie  and 
gives  his  political  allegiance  to  the  republican 
party,  the  principles  of  which  he  has  stanchly 
championed  since  casting  his  first  presidential 
vote  for  U.  S.  Grant.  In  all  life's  relations, 
whether  upon  the  field  of  battle,  in  the  dis- 
charge of  civic  duties  or  in  meeting  the  obli- 
gations of  home,  social  or  business  life  Mr. 
Starkweather  is  always  found  loyal  and  true 
and  his  many  excellent  traits  of  character  com- 
mend him  to  the  good  will  of  all  with  whom 
he  has  been  associated. 


OTIS  J.  DUTCHER. 


Otis  J.  Dutcher,  living  on  section  5,  Eagle 
township,  was  born  in  Roxana  township,  Eaton 
county,  Michigan,  February  16,  1875.  His 
parents,  George  W.  and  Sibyl  (Savage) 
Dutcher,  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania,  and  in 


early  life  became  residents  of  Eaton  county, 
where  they  were  married  forty  years  ago.  The 
paternal  grandfather,  David  Dutcher,  took  up 
his  abode  in  that  county  about  a  half  century 
ago  and  there  cleared  the  farm  which  is  now 
owned  by  George  W.  Dutcher.  The  grand- 
father was  for  many  years  a  worthy  and  re- 
spected pioneer  settler  of  his  county  and  died 
in  September,  1904,  at  the  venerable  age  of 
eighty-seven  years,  while  his  wife,  who  bore 
the  maiden  name  of  Lucinda  Swinley,  and  was 
a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  died  in  September, 
1900,  at  the  age  of  seventy-four  years.  The 
maternal  grandfather,  Abram  Savage,  was  a 
native  of  Pennsylvania,  and  took  up  his  abode 
in  Eaton  county,  Michigan,  about  fifty  years 
ago,  entering  a  claim  of  eighty  acres  from  the 
government.  He  is  still  living  at  the  age  of 
ninety-two  years  and  is  one  of  the  oldest  citi- 
zens of  the  state  and  an  honored  pioneer  settler 
of  his  community.  His  wTife  was  Esther  Beach, 
a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  who  died  in  1893, 
at  the  age  of  eighty-five  years.  George  W. 
Dutcher  was  one  of  a  family  of  six  children, 
of  whom  two  are  living,  his  brother  being 
Warren,  a  resident  of  Pennsylvania.  Through- 
out the  greater  part  of  his  life  George  W. 
Dutcher  has  been  identified  with  agricultural 
pursuits  in  Michigan,  and  reared  his  family  in 
Eaton  county.  He  has  six  children:  Norman 
E.,  who  resides  in  Antrim  county,  Michigan; 
Otis  J. ;  Ernest  B.,  a  resident  of  Victor  town- 
ship, Clinton  county;  Perley,  of  Eagle  town- 
ship; Esther  L.,  also  of  Eagle  township;  and 
Sibyl,  who  is  living  in  Eaton  county. 

Otis  J.  Dutcher  began  his  education  in  the 
district  schools  and  at  the  age  of  fourteen  years 
started  out  to  earn  his  own  living  by  working 
as  a  farm  hand  by  the  month,  being  thus  em- 
ployed for  sixteen  years.  On  the  28th  of  De- 
cember, 1904,  he  removed  to  his  present  farm 
owned  by  Jacob  Dravenstadt,  on  section  5, 
Eagle  township,  and  here  he  has  displayed  the 
qualities  of  an  enterprising  agriculturist  for  he 
is  an  energetic  and  hard-working  young  man. 

On  the  27th  of  March,  1900,  Mr.  Dutcher 
was  married  to  Miss  Ella  May  Tillitson,  a 
daughter  of  John  and  Marie  L.,    (McCreub) 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Tillitson,  of  Eagle  township.  Her  father  died 
March  5,  1902,  at  the  age  of  forty-five  years, 
while  his  wife  passed  away  March  10,  1902, 
also,  when  forty-two  years  of  age.  In  their 
family  were  nine  children,  Ella  May,  Pearl, 
Elroy,  Eddie,  Clarence  and  Leon,  all  of  whom 
are  yet  living,  while  Orpha,  Roy  and  one 
other  died  in  infancy.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dutcher 
have  two  children,  Velda  and  Catherine.  Mr. 
Dutcher  works  persistently  and  energetically  in 
his  farming  operations  and  is  meeting  with 
good  success.  He  is  respected  for  his  de- 
termination and  genuine  worth  and  has  gained 
many  friends  during  his  residence  in  this  part 
of  the  state. 


OTHMAN  W.  LOWELL. 

Othman  W.  Lowell,  one  of  the  respected  and 
representative  farmers  of  Watertown  town- 
ship, living  on  section  23,  is  a  native  of  the 
Empire  state,  his  birth  having  occurred  in 
Shelby  township,  Orleans  county,  August  6, 
1838.  The  Lowells  are  of  English  descent  and 
come  of  the  same  ancestry  as  James  Russell 
Lowell,  the  distinguished  essayist.  Othman 
W.  Lowell  is  a  son  of  Josiah  and  Joanna  (  Har- 
ris) Lowell,  the  former  a  native  of  Vermont 
and  the  latter  of  New  Hampshire.  Following 
his  marriage,  the  father  came  to  Clinton  county, 
Michigan,  in  1839,  settling  on  section  21,  Wa- 
tertown township.  In  January,  1840,  he  re- 
turned for  his  family,  journeying  on  foot 
through  Canada  to  his  old  home  in  the  Em- 
pire state.  On  making  the  trip  westward  in 
the  spring  of  1839,  he  was  accompanied  by 
Joseph  S.  Loomis  and  Joseph  Sanborn,  who  lo- 
cated on  the  west  half  of  the  southeast  quarter 
of  section  21.  As  he  could  not  pay  for  the 
claim  he  remained  and  chopped  down  trees  and 
put  up  a  log  cabin.  He  thus  paid  for  his  land 
by  cutting  timber  for  others  but  Mr.  Loomis 
and  Mr.  Sanborn  paid  for  their  land  at  the 
time  the  claim  was  filed.  These  gentlemen 
made  the  first  permanent  settlement  at  Water- 
town  Center.  In  1840  Josiah  Lowell  brought 
his  family  by  boat  from  Buffalo  to  Detroit, 


where  he  was  met  with  an  ox-team  and  thus 
the  journey  was  continued  through  the  forests 
to  Watertown  township,  it  requiring  eight  days 
to  make  the  trip   from  Detroit.     The  family 
numbered  eight  members,  the  eldest  child  that 
came  with   them,   George,   now  a   resident  of 
Watertown  township,  being  at  that  time  six- 
teen   years    of   age.     Cassin    came    later.     On 
reaching  the  little  log  cabin  they  found  that  it 
was  minus  floors  and  doors  and  that  Mr.  Low- 
ell had  put  up  only  the  walls  and  roof  and  the 
family  occupied  it  in  that  way  until  it  could 
be  completed.     Mr.  Lowell  worked  about  the 
neighborhood  as  he  could  get  employment  in 
order  to  earn  the  money  that  would  supply  his 
family   with   provisions   and   other  necessaries. 
Later  he  paid  for  the  original  forty  acres  and 
erected  thereon  good  buildings  and  as  his  finan- 
cial  resources   still   further   increased  he  pur- 
chased   eighty    acres   of   land    on    section    31. 
Thus  year  by  year  he  prospered  and  also  won 
for  himself  an  honorable  name.     He  died  May 
4,  i860,  at  the  age  of  sixty-nine  years,  while 
his  wife  passed  away  November  6,  1866,  when 
seventy-three    years    of    age.      He    had    been 
prominent  and  influential  in  community  affairs, 
had  served  as  justice  of  the  peace  and  highway 
commissioner  for  a  number  of  years  and  was 
identified  with  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church 
and  the  Masonic  fraternity.     His  funeral  was 
the  first  conducted  by  that  order  in  this  locality. 
When  Mr.  Lowell  arrived  in  Watertown  town- 
ship the  other  settlers  of  the  township  were 
Elial  and  Truman  Ingersoll,  living  on  section 
35,  Mr.  Billings  on  section  36,  Jonas  Smith  on 
section   31,   and   Stephen   Hill   on   section    15. 
There  was  also  a  small  settlement  at  Wacousta, 
where  a  grist  mill  had  been  established,    Calvin 
Marvin,  the  first  settler  in  Watertown  town- 
ship, had  located  on  section  12  in  1835.     Thus 
the  Lowells  became  early  identified  with  the 
development  and  progress  of  the  county  and 
they  took  an   active  and  helpful  part   in   the 
reclamation  of  the  wild  land  for  the  purposes  of 
civilization.     In  the   family  of  Josiah  Lowell 
were    ten    children,    those    still    living   being: 
Edna,  wife  of  Willard  King,  of  Watertown 
township;  Laura,  the  widow  of  A.  J.   Smith 


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and  a  resident  of  Wacousta;  George  W.,  who 
is  living  in  Watertown  township;  Martha,  the 
wife  of  M.  L.  Corbin,  of  the  same  township; 
and  Othman  W.  Those  who  have  passed  away 
are :  Julia,  the  wife  of  George  C.  Jarvis ;  Cassin, 
who  was  the  eldest  son ;  Jane,  the  wife  of  Elias 
Garlock;  Marian,  the  wife  of  Levi  Garlock; 
and  John  H. 

Othman  W.  Lowell  attended  the  first  school 
at  Watertown  Center  when  a  youth  of  ten 
years.  He  had  had  no  educational  privileges 
prior  to  that  time,  having  never  seen  a  school- 
house  nor  a  teacher.  His  first  teacher  was  Mrs. 
Cornelia  Hazzard,  who  is  now  living  in  Wa- 
cousta. Mr.  Lowell  continued  on  the  home 
farm,  going  four  miles  through  the  forests  in 
order  to  attend  school.  He  had  little  oppor- 
tunity to  pursue  his  studies  save  in  the  winter 
season  for  it  was  necessary  that  he  aid  in  the 
labors  of  the  farm  during  the  summer  months. 
He  remained  upon  the  old  homestead  and  after 
his  father's  death  came  into  possession  of  a  part 
of  the  land  on  which  he  continued  until  the  fall 
of  1868,  when  he  sold  that  property  and  took 
up  his  abode  on  his  present  farm,  comprising 
one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  on  section  23, 
Watertown  township.  It  was  covered  with  a 
dense  growth  of  timber  and  there  were  no 
roads.  The  land  was  wild  and  unimproved  and 
it  seemed  that  the  work  of  progress  had  scarcely 
been  begun.  Mr.  Lowell  cleared  all  of  the  land 
himself,  split  rails,  erected  buildings  and  in  the 
course  of  years  has  developed  a  splendidly  im- 
proved farm.  This  has  required  much  arduous 
toil  and  his  life  has  been  a  strenuous  one  but 
his  labors  have  in  due  course  of  time  been 
crowned  with  a  gratifying  measure  of  pros- 
perity. 

In  August,  1859,  was  celebrated  the  mar- 
riage of  Mr.  Lowell  and  Miss  Jeanette  Masters, 
a  daughter  of  George  Masters,  of  Wayne 
county,  New  York,  who  in  1852  took  up  his 
abode  in  Westphalia  township,  Clinton  county. 
Their  children  are:  Edith,  the  wife  of  John 
Cramer,  of  Watertown  township;  Herbert  J., 
who  resides  on  a  farm  adjoining  his  father's 
home;  Clark,  at  home;  Gerry,  who  is  business 
manager    for   a   gasoline   engine   company   at 


Lansing,    Michigan;   Jennie  and   Mattie,   who 
are  yet  with  their  parents. 

Mr.  Lowell  gives  an  earnest  support  to  the 
democracy  and  has  been  called  to  several  town- 
ship offices.  He  served  as  highway  commis- 
sioner for  ten  years,  has  been  drain  commis- 
sioner for  two  terms  and  school  director  for 
fourteen  years  and  in  the  discharge  of  his 
duties  has  ever  been  prompt  and  capable,  win- 
ning the  confidence  of  the  general  public.  He  is 
one  of  the  substantial  and  reliable  citizens  of 
Clinton  county  at  the  present  time  and  has  been 
familiar  with  its  history  from  almost  the  be- 
ginning of  its  development.  His  mind  bears 
the  impress  of  its  early  historic  annals  as  well 
as  of  the  events  which  constitute  its  later 
progress  and  improvement  and  he  justly  de- 
serves mention  in  this  volume. 


LUTHER  L.  NICHOSON. 

Luther  L.  Nichoson,  who  is  engaged  in 
general  farming  on  section  30,  Westphalia 
township,  was  born  in  Kent  county,  Michigan, 
November  14,  1856.  His  parents,  Orson  and 
Matilda  (Moe)  Nichoson,  were  natives  of  the 
state  of  New  York  and  came  to  Michigan  after 
their  marriage,  settling  near  Ann  Arbor  after 
living  for  a  brief  period  at  Grattan,  Kent 
county,  Michigan.  The  father  was  a  farmer 
by  occupation  and  an  influential  man  of  his  lo- 
cality, where  he  was  called  to  fill  several  offices. 
He  died  about  the  time  of  the  outbreak  of  the 
Civil  war.  His  wife,  long  surviving  him, 
passed  away  in  March,  1896,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-nine  years.  She  was  a  devoted  Chris- 
tian woman  and  a  prominent  member  and 
worker  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church, 
doing  all  in  her  power  to  promote  its  growth 
and  extend  its  influence.  In  the  family  were 
seven  children:  John  W.,  who  is  living  in 
Luther,  Michigan;  Eugene  L.,  who  also  makes 
his  home  in  that  town;  Ernest  R.,  who  is  serv- 
ing as  probate  judge  at  Luther;  Phebe,  the  wife 
of  G.  W.  Temple,  of  Luther;  Luther  L.,  of 
this  review;  Martha,  the  wife  of  George  Hall, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


a  resident  of  Belding,  Michigan;  and  Arthur 
C,  also  living  at  Belding. 

Luther  L.  Nichoson  began  his  education  in 
the  district  schools  and  continued  it  in  the  high 
school  of  Graton  Center.  His  experiences  were 
those  that  usually  fall  to  the  lot  of  the  farm 
lad  and  he  remained  on  the  old  homestead  until 
sixteen  years  of  age,  when  he  went  to  Portland, 
Michigan,  where  he  attended  school  and  was 
variously  employed,  giving  a  part  of  his  time 
to  milling  and  lumbering.  After  his  marriage 
he  settled  on  a  farm,  taking  up  his  abode  on  an 
eighty-acre  tract  of  land  near  Luther,  and  in 
1893  he  removed  to  his  present  farm  on  sec- 
tion 30,  Westphalia  township.  Here  he  has 
seventy-two  acres  of  richly  cultivated  land, 
constituting  a  well  improved  and  valuable  farm, 
which  he  cultivates  according  to  modern  ideas. 

In  1885  Mr.  Nichoson  wras  married  to  Miss 
Sarah  Campbell,  a  daughter  of  Samuel  and 
Almina  (Briggs)  Campbell.  In  politics  he  is 
independent,  voting  for  the  best  men  regardless 
of  party  affiliation.  He  belongs  to  the  Grange, 
and  seeking  not  to  figure  in  public  life,  gives 
unremitting  attention  to  his  well  conducted  and 
well  managed  business  interests. 


ABNER  LETTS. 


Abner  Letts,  to  whom  has  been  vouchsafed 
an  honorable  retirement  from  labor  and  is  now 
enjoying  a  well  earned  rest  in  Elsie,  is  a  car- 
penter and  joiner  by  trade  and  during  many 
years  was  identified  with  building  operations, 
so  that  many  evidences  of  his  handiwork  are 
seen  in  substantial  structures  in  Clinton  county, 
where  he  has  made  his  home  since  December, 
1850.  He  is  a  native  of  New  York,  his  birth 
having  occurred  in  Seneca  county  on  the  28th 
of  April,  1842.  His  father,  Daniel  Letts,  was 
a  native  of  New  Jersey  and  was  reared  there. 
He  served  his  country  as  a  soldier  in  the  war 
of  18 1 2,  and  on  leaving  New  Jersey  removed 
to  Seneca  county,  New  York,  where  he  carried 
on  general  agricultural  pursuits.  He  married 
Miss  Susan  Mabee,  who  died  during  the  child- 


hood of  their  son  Abner,  about  1852.  Daniel 
Letts  afterward  removed  to  Michigan,  settling 
on  a  farm  in  Duplain  township,  Clinton  county, 
in  1858.  His  land  was  in  the  midst  of  the 
green  forest  but  he  cleared  away  the  trees  and 
developed  a  good  property,  making  his  home 
thereon  until  his  death,  which  occurred  when 
he  was  sixty-six  years  of  age. 

Abner  Letts  was  reared  upon  the  old  home 
farm,  which  bordered  the  river.  He  is  largely 
a  self-educated  man,  his  opportunities  for  at- 
tending school  being  quite  limited,  but  in  the 
school  of  experience  he  has  learned  many  valu- 
able lessons.  He  enlisted  at  Pontiac,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1861,  joining  the  First  Michigan 
Cavalry,  with  which  he  served  until  1865.  He 
participated  in  the  second  battle  of  Bull  Run,  in 
the  engagement  at  Gettysburg,  the  battle  of 
the  Wilderness  with  Custer's  Brigade  and  was 
in  a  number  of  other  engagements  of  lesser  im- 
portance. At  Manchester  his  right  arm  was 
slightly  wounded  and  his  clothing  was  pierced 
by  bullets,  but  he  escaped  any  serious  injury. 
However,  toward  the  close  of  the  war  he  be- 
came ill  and  was  discharged  at  the  hospital  in 
Detroit,  August  3,  1865.  After  returning 
home  and  somewhat  recuperating  his  health  Mr. 
Letts  began  working  on  the  farm  and  through- 
out the  greater  part  of  his  life  has  given  his 
attention  to  agricultural  pursuits. 

In  1867,  in  Novi,  Oakland  county,  Mr.  Letts 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Ada  Wilson, 
a  native  of  Clinton  county,  born  in  Ovid  town- 
ship. Her  father,  Joseph  Wilson,  was  a  soldier 
of  the  Civil  war,  was  wounded  at  Cold  Harbor 
and  later  died.  After  his  marriage  Mr.  Letts 
located  on  a  farm,  commencing  with  forty 
acres,  which  he  cultivated  for  two  years.  He 
then  sold  the  property  and  removed  to  Oakland 
county,  where  he  operated  a  farm  on  the  shares 
for  two  years.  On  the  expiration  of  that  period 
he  took  up  his  abode  in  Ovid,  where  he  worked 
at  carpentering  for  seven  years,  at  the  end  of 
which  time  he  located  in  Saginaw  county, 
Michigan,  and  bought  a  tract  of  forty  acres  of 
woodland.  Clearing  away  the  timber  he  culti- 
vated the  fields,  residing  thereon  until  he  sold 
the  property  and  removed  to  Elsie.     Here  he 


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purchased  a  home  and  worked  at  his  trade  for 
a  number  of  years  but  is  now  living  a  retired 
life,  resting  in  the  enjoyment  of  the  fruits  of 
his  former  toil. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Letts  were  born  a  son 
and  daughter:  John  C,  a  carpenter  of  Elsie, 
who  is  married  and  has  one  son,  Rollie;  and 
Fannie,  the  wife  of  Harley  Emmons,  a  farmer 
of  Duplain  township,  by  whom  she  has  two 
daughters,  May  and  Ethel.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Letts 
are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church 
at  Elsie  and  take  an  active  part  in  church  work. 
For  some  time  he  was  officially  identified  with 
the  church  at  Chapin,  served  on  its  building 
committee  in  the  capacity  of  treasurer,  and 
filled  other  positions.  Mr.  Letts  is  a  Grand 
Army  man,  taking  an  active  interest  in  the 
work  of  the  organization,  while  for  two  terms 
he  has  served  as  commander  of  the  post.  His 
wife  is  also  a  member  of  the  Womans  Relief 
Corps.  His  political  allegiance  is  given  un- 
falteringly to  the  republican  party,  and  while 
living  in  Saginaw  county  he  served  as  high- 
way commissioner  and  school  director.  He  has 
been  a  resident  of  Michigan  during  the  greater 
part  of  his  life  and  is  one  of  the  few  remaining 
old  settlers  and  army  veterans.  He  has  aided 
in  upbuilding  and  improving  Clinton  county, 
has  cleared  and  developed  three  farms  and  has 
been  identified  with  building  operations  so  that 
his  labors  have  been  factors  in  the  material  de- 
velopment of  this  part  of  the  state. 


NORMAN  WILLIAMS. 

Norman  Williams,  deceased,  who  developed 
from  the  wilderness  the  present  fine  farm  upon 
which  his  widow  now  resides,  was  born  in 
Herkimer  county,  New  York,  November  9, 
1823.  His  father,  Jacob  Williams,  was  a  na- 
tive of  Germany  and  after  coming  to  America 
established  his  home  in  Fairfield  township, 
Herkimer  county.  There  the  mother  died  in 
1832  and  Norman  Williams  was  therefore  left 
at  the  age  of  nine  years  to  make  his  home 
among  strangers.  He  began  learning  the 
cooper's  trade  but  only  followed  it  for  about 


a  year,  when  he  secured  employment  as  a  farm 
hand.  That  labor  proved  more  congenial  and 
he  was  thus  employed  until  1849,  when,  at- 
tracted by  the  discovery  of  gold  on  the  Pacific 
slope,  he  made  his  way  to  California,  visiting 
both  Sacramento  and  San  Francisco  and  spend- 
ing three  years  in  the  mines.  In  1852  he  re- 
turned to  the  east  as  far  as  Michigan  and  took 
up  his  abode  in  Clinton  county,  where  he  pur- 
chased one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  un- 
improved land  on  section  35,  Bingham  town- 
ship. Only  five  acres  had  been  cleared  but  by 
hard  work  and  unremitting  toil  he  managed  to 
make  a  good  home  and  afterward  added  one 
hundred  and  forty  acres  which  adjoined  his 
original  purchase.  This  he  continued  to  im- 
prove until  he  had  made  for  himself  and  fam- 
ily one  of  the  finest  farms  in  the  township.  He 
also  erected  a  very  comfortable,  commodious 
and  attractive  residence,  the  home  being  sur- 
rounded by  a  beautiful  lawn  and  shaded  by  fine 
trees.  Just  as  he  was  in  a  position,  however, 
to  put  aside  the  arduous  cares  of  life  and  enjoy 
his  pleasant  home  and  the  many  comforts  which 
his  former  toil  had  provided  him  death  separated 
him  from  all  earthly  ties  and  on  the  1st  of 
August,  1896,  he  passed  away,  leaving  a  widow, 
three  sons  and  a  daughter. 

Mr.  Williams  was  married  November  3, 
1864,  to  Miss  Sarah  Lanphere,  a  daughter  of 
Ezekiel  and  Jane  Lanphere,  of  Plymouth, 
Wayne  county,  Michigan.  Her  parents  were 
among  the  pioneer  families  of  Clinton  county, 
to  which  they  removed  from  Wayne  county 
in  1850,  settling  in  Bingham  township,  where 
her  father  died  September  8,  1855,  leaving  a 
widowr  and  ten  children,  six  of  whom  are  yet 
living,  namely:  L.  B.,  of  Sand  Hill,  near  De- 
troit; Hudson  H.  M.,  of  Stanton,  Michigan; 
Mrs.  Jane  Clough,  of  Muskegon;  Mrs.  Elsie 
Compton,  of  Waukegan,  Illinois;  Mrs.  H.  M. 
Bush,  of  Saginaw,  Michigan;  and  Mrs.  Wil- 
liams, with  whom  the  mother  made  her  home 
soon  after  the  death  of  the  father,  there  re- 
maining until  she  too  passed  away  on  the  19th 
of  May,  1888. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Williams  became  the  parents 
of    four    children:    A.    Fred,    a    commission 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


merchant  of  Pittsburg,  Pennsylvania;  B. 
Maude,  a  music  teacher;  Victor  N.,  who  is 
conductor  for  the  Lansing  Traction  Company 
at  Lansing;  and  Murray  C,  who  is  in  the 
grocery  business  at  St.  Johns.  The  daughter 
gave  up  her  musical  career  that  she  might  re- 
main  at  home  to  comfort  and  be  a  companion 
to  her  mother,  who  still  lives  in  a  handsome 
residence  on  the  farm  which  was  built  by  Mr. 
Williams.  The  land,  however,  is  rented.  By 
the  death  of  Mr.  Williams  the  township  lost 
a  progressive  citizen  and  much  respected  man. 
He  had  not  only  proved  his  value  in  support  of 
all  material  interests  in  the  township  but  was 
also  active  and  helpful  in  church  circles  from 
1 87 1,  when  he  joined  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church  of  Bingham  township,  a  mission  of  the 
Olive  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  He  was 
also  a  warm  friend  of  the  cause  of  education 
and  was  a  member  of  the  district  school  board. 
By  his  honest  and  straightforward  dealing  and 
conduct  at  all  times  he  earned  a  reputation 
for  integrity  that  made  his  word  as  good  as  his 
bond.  Politically  he  was  a  stanch  democrat  and 
at  all  times  he  was  fearless  in  support  of  his 
honest  convictions.  He  left  to  his  family  not 
only  a  comfortable  competence  but  also  an  un- 
tarnished name. 


HERMAN  F.   WARD. 

When  the  forests  were  cleared  from  the  land 
in  Michigan  its  productiveness  was  soon  proven 
and  agriculture  has  since  been  one  of  the  chief 
sources  of  revenue  in  the  state.  Herman  F. 
Ward,  following  the  occupation  of  farming  on 
section  34,  Essex  township,  has  prospered  in 
his  chosen  department  of  business  activity  and 
is  now  one  of  the  enterprising  and  successful 
farmers  of  his  community,  owning  and  culti- 
vating one  hundred  acres  of  land.  He  was  born 
upon  this  farm,  October  20,  1856.  His  father, 
John  Ward,  was  a  native  of  Lincolnshire, 
England,  where  he  spent  his  youth.  Later  he 
came  to  the  new  world  and  after  a  year's  resi- 
dence in  the  state  of  New  York  resumed  his 


westward  journey  to  Michigan,  settling  in 
Clinton  county,  where  he  bought  the  land  upon 
which  his  son  Herman  now  resides.  It  was 
then  covered  wtih  timber  but  he  at  once  be- 
gan the  arduous  task  of  clearing  the  fields  and 
preparing  them  for  the  plow.  He  bought  eighty 
acres,  of  which  he  cleared  fifty,  building  a  log 
house  upon  the  place.  His  remaining  days 
were  spent  upon  his  farm  and  as  the  years 
passed  he  transformed  the  land  into  a  pro- 
ductive and  valuable  tract.  He  was  married 
in  the  Empire  state  to  Miss  Harriet  Dart,  a 
native  of  England.  His  death  occurred  in 
1869  but  his  widow  still  survives  and  now 
resides  with  her  son  Herman  on  the  old  family 
homestead.  There  were  two  sons,  Frank  being 
now  a  resident  of  St.  Johns. 

Herman  F.  Ward  was  reared  upon  the  home- 
stead farm  and  acquired  a  district-school  edu- 
cation. He  remained  with  his  mother  until 
he  had  attained  his  majority  and  then  took 
charge  of  the  farm.  Prior  to  this  time  he  had 
been  employed  for  three  years  as  a  farm  hand, 
working  by  the  month.  From  early  youth  he 
has  been  familiar  with  the  labors  of  the  fields, 
for  he  took  his  place  behind  the  plow  when 
but  a  young  lad.  In  all  that  he  undertakes  he 
is  practical,  brooking  no  obstacles  that  can  be 
overcome  by  determined,  earnest  and  honorable 
effort  and  as  the  years  have  gone  by  he  has 
developed  an  excellent  property,  being  now  the 
owner  of  one  hundred  acres  of  rich  and  pro- 
ductive land  from  which  he  annually  garners 
good  harvests. 

Herman  F.  Ward  was  married  in  Essex 
township  about  1880  to  Miss  Mary  West,  a  na- 
tive of  Pennsylvania  and  a  daughter  of  Samuel 
West.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ward  have  become  the 
parents  of  five  children:  Hattie,  who  was  for- 
merly engaged  in  teaching  in  the  schools  of 
Clinton  county;  Nina,  the  wife  of  Murdo 
Bancroft,  a  farmer  of  Essex  township;  Elsie, 
Lawrence  and  Robert,  all  at  home. 

Mr.  Ward  gives  his  undivided  attention  to 
his  farm  labors  and  has  erected  a  neat  residence 
upon  his  place,  also  a  good  barn.  He  has  like- 
wise planted  considerable  fruit,  has  fenced  the 
place,  cleared  the  fields  of  stumps  and  altogether 


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has  a  neat  and  productive  farm,  on  which  he 
is  raising  good  crops  and  also  handling  good 
graded  stock.  He  has  never  faltered  in  his 
allegiance  to  the  republican  party,  although  he 
has  never  been  a  politician  in  the  sense  of  office 
seeking.  He  served,  however,  for  two  terms 
as  a  member  of  the  board  of  reviews  and  has 
been  a  member  of  the  school  board.  The  cause 
of  education  finds  in  him  a  warm  friend  and 
he  believes  in  the  employment  of  good  teachers 
and  in  continually  raising  the  standard  of  the 
schools.  He  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the 
Lowe  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in  which 
he  is  serving  as  steward  and  in  the  work  of 
the  Sunday-school  he  is  also  interested,  having 
for  three  years  served  as  its  superintendent.  He 
belongs  to  the  Masonic  lodge  at  Maple  Rapids 
and  he  and  his  wife  affiliate  with  the  Order 
of  the  Eastern  Star.  He  is  likewise  a  member 
of  the  Knights  of  the  Maccabees.  For  almost 
a  half  century  a  resident  of  Essex  township,  he 
has  seen  many  changes  here  as  the  county  has 
been  developed  and  improved  and  to  it  have 
been  added  the  advantages  and  equipments  of 
agricultural,  industrial  and  commercial  develop- 
ment. He  has  taken  just  pride  in  what  has 
been  accomplished  and  may  well  be  termed  one 
of  the  public-spirited  citizens. 


FRANK  C.  DUNN,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Frank  C.  Dunn,  a  practitioner  of  medi- 
cine and  surgery  in  St.  Johns,  his  native  city, 
was  born  September  16,  1871,  his  parents  being 
Hiram  and  Margaret  (Cottrell)  Dunn,  the  for- 
mer a  native  of  Canada  and  the  latter  of  New 
Jersey.  Following  their  marriage,  in  1867, 
they  removed  from  Welland,  Canada,  to  St. 
Johns,  where  the  father  followed  blacksmithing, 
conducting  a  shop  for  a  number  of  years.  He 
is  now  a  well  preserved  man  at  the  age  of 
seventy-five  years.  His  wife,  who  was  born 
March  20,  183 1,  died  at  the  age  of  sixty-four 
years,  January  11,  1895.  In  their  family  were 
seven  children,  of  whom  Dr.  Dunn  is  the 
youngest.      The   other   surviving   members   of 


the  household  are  Alonzo  E.,  now  living  at 
Greenville,  Illinois;  George  H.,  a  resident  of 
Perry,  Michigan;  and  Charles  L.,  residing  at 
St.  Johns.  Those  deceased  are  William  J.,  who 
died  in  1882,  at  the  age  of  twenty-three  years; 
Georgiana,  who  died  at  the  age  of  seven  years; 
and  Annetta  L.,  whose  death  occurred  at  the 
age  of  two  and  a  half  years. 

At  the  usual  age  Dr.  Dunn  entered  the 
public  schools  of  his  native  city,  passing 
through  successive  grades  until  he  became  a 
high-school  student.  His  preliminary  profes- 
sional training  was  received  in  the  office  and 
under  the  direction  of  the  late  Dr.  A.  J.  Wig- 
gins, of  this  city,  and  he  won  his  degree  upon 
graduation  from  the  Michigan  College  of 
Medicine  and  Surgery  at  Detroit  on  the  15th 
of  March,  1892.  He  located  for  practice  in 
the  same  spring  in  Fowler,  Clinton  county,  and 
since  the  1st  of  June,  1896,  has  been  a  member 
of  the  medical  fraternity  at  St.  Johns,  where 
a  •  liberal  patronage  has  been  accorded  him  in 
recognition  of  his  thorough  understanding  of 
the  principles  of  medicine  and  his  accuracy  in 
applying  these  principles  to  the  needs  of  suf- 
fering humanity.  His  standing  with  his  pro- 
fessional brethren  is  indicated  by  the  fact  that 
he  was  elected  in  October,  1904,  to  the  presi- 
dency of  the  Clinton  County  Medical  Society. 
He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Michigan  State 
Medical  Society  and  the  American  Medical 
Association  and  he  is  examiner  for  the  New 
York  Life  Insurance  Company  and  the  Home 
Life  of  New  York. 

Dr.  Dunn  is  a  worthy  follower  of  the  craft, 
belonging  to  the  Masonic  lodge  in  St.  Johns, 
also  to  St.  Johns  lodge,  No.  182,  and  to  the 
endowment  rank,  while  in  the  subordinate  lodge 
he  is  a  past  chancellor.  His  name  is  likewise 
on  the  membership  rolls  of  Ionia  lodge,  No. 
548,  B.  P.  O.  E.  His  political  support  is 
given  the  republican  party,  but  the  only  office 
which  he  has  ever  sought  or  filled  was  one  in 
the  direct  line  of  his  profession,  for  he  has 
served  as  county  physician  since  1897.  He  is 
a  man  of  large  stature,  of  generous  impulses, 
warm  hearted  and  of  ready  sympathy,  whose 
social  prominence  is  as  much  the  result  of  an 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


irreproachable  private  life  as  his  professional 
advancement  is  the  outcome  of  individual  merit 
and  ability. 


OMAR  B.  DILLS. 


Omar  B.  Dills,  an  active  and  energetic 
farmer  and  stock  raiser,  owns  a  valuable  tract 
of  land  of  seventy  acres  on  section  9,  Dewitt 
township,  not  far  from  the  village  of  Dewitt. 
He  was  born  in  Farmington,  Oakland  county, 
Michigan,  September  29,  1848,  and  is  a  son  of 
William  and  Maria  Dills,  both  of  whom  are 
represented  elsewhere  in  this  volume.  With  his 
parents  he  came  to  Dewitt,  Clinton  county,  in 
1852,  being  then  a  little  lad  of  four  summers. 
He  was  reared  in  Olive  township,  pursuing  his 
education  in  the  district  school  in  Olive  and 
a  few  winters  in  the  select  school  in  Dewitt 
village,  which  was  kept  by  Mrs.  Caroline 
Bement,  an  old  pioneer  teacher  of  Dewitt,  while 
in  the  summer  months  he  assisted  in  the  work 
of  the  farm.  He  remained  with  his  father  and 
aided  him  in  carrying  on  the  farm  until  his 
thirty-third  year. 

On  December  8,  1880,  at  the  home  of  Rev. 
H.  S.  Hitchcock,  of  Royal  Oak,  Oakland 
county,  Michigan  (a  former  home  of  Mrs. 
Dills),  Mr.  Dills  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss 
Abbie  E.  Hutchins,  of  Dewitt,  who  was  born 
in  Dewitt  village,  July  22,  1857.  Her  parents 
were  among  the  early  settlers  of  this  locality. 
Mrs.  Dills  received  her  education  in  schools  in 
Lansing,  Royal  Oak  and  Dewitt  and  was  a 
capable  teacher  for  a  number  of  years  prior  to 
her  marriage.  She  has  been  for  a  number  of 
years  correspondent  to  the  Lansing  and  St. 
Johns  papers.  Following  their  marriage  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Dills  settled  upon'  the  home  place, 
where  they  lived  for  three  years,  after  which  he 
rented  the  Bassett  farm,  east  of  the  village, 
where  they  lived  for  one  year,  when  in  1884 
they  purchased  the  Dewitt  Brinkerhoff  farm 
(formerly  the  J.  Gillett  farm),  where  they  now 
reside,  and  began  its  further  cultivation  and  im- 
provement.    Mr.  Dills  has  made  a  specialty  of 


raising  good  horses  and  has  sold  some  high- 
priced,  well-bred  and  valuable  animals. 

In  his  political  views  Mr.  Dills  is  a  stanch 
republican  but  without  political  aspiration,  giv- 
ing his  time  and  attention  to  his  farming  and 
stock-raising  interests.     Unto  him  and  his  wife 
have  been  born  a  son  and  a  daughter :  Gerry  W., 
born  November  30,  1886,  and  Helen  A.,  born 
August    9,   1889,  both    being    still    in    school. 
Gerry,  who  is  attending  the  Lansing  Business 
University,    is    a    graduate    of    Dewitt    high 
school.     Helen    is    finishing   her    last    year    in 
the  Dewitt  school.     The  parents  are  members 
of   the   Universalist   church,    Mr.    Dills   being 
reared  in  that  faith.    He  is  also  a  member  of 
the  Modern  Woodman  camp  of  Dewitt,  where 
he  has   served  as   head   council  as  well   as   in 
other  offices  in  the  camp.     Both  he  and  his  wife 
are  connected  with  Dewitt  Grange,   of  which 
she  is  the  present  secretary.     She  is  also  serv- 
ing   her    third    year    as    secretary    of    Clinton 
County  Pomona  Grange;  record  keeper  of  the 
L.    O.    T.    M.    M.    lodge;    recently   finished   a 
four  and  a    half    years'  secretaryship    in    the 
Order  of  the  Eastern  Star  chapter ;  and  is  now 
serving   as    secretary   of   the    Michigan    State 
Grange   woman's   work   committee.      Mr.    and 
Mrs.  Dills  are  esteemed  for  their  genuine  worth 
and  their  circle  of  friends  is  almost  co-extensive 
with  the  circle  of  their  acquaintances. 


EZRA  M.  HUTCHINS. 

Ezra  M.  Hutchins,  an  honored  early  settler 
of  Michigan  and  the  father  of  Mrs.  Abbie  E. 
Dills,  represented  elsewhere  in  this  work,  came 
of  sturdy  New  England  stock.  He  was  born 
May  1,  1823,  in  Atkinson,  Piscataquis  county, 
Maine,  numbering  among  his  ancestors  Robert 
Fulton,  the  Garrys  and  others  of  note.  He  ac- 
quired his  education  in  the  village  schools  at 
Maple  Corners,  Maine,  and  while  still  in  his 
teens  began  teaching.  He  was  a  fine  penman 
and  conducted  writing  schools  in  the  evenings, 
following  that  vocation  until  thirty  years  of 
age,  when  he  followed  Horace  Greeley's  advice, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


259 


"Go  west  young  man,  go  west,"  and  in  the 
summer  of  1853  reached  the  village  of  Dewitt, 
Michigan.  Here  he  began  reading  law  with 
Frank  and  Randolph  Strickland,  pioneer  at- 
torneys of  this  county,  and  in  the  winter  sea- 
sons taught  school  in  Watertown  and  Dewitt. 
He  also  held  various  township  offices  and  his 
time  was  thus  occupied  until  1857,  when  he 
joined  Mr.  Parker  in  the  grocery  business  in 
Lansing.  His  health  failing  him  he  purchased 
a  farm  near  the  German  church  in  Dewitt  and 
operated  his  land  in  the  summer  months,  while 
in  the  winters  he  continued  teaching  until  May, 
1864,  when  with  a  party  of  St.  Johns  and 
Lansing  people  he  took  the  overland  route  to 
Idaho  and  California,  hoping  that  the  trip 
might  benefit  his  health.  There  he  remained 
until  his  death,  in  1879. 

Mr.  Hutchins  was  married,  October  20, 
1856,  to  Miss  Helen  Hurd,  the  eldest  of  twelve 
children  born  unto  Daniel  and  Eliza  Hurd, 
pioneers  of  Dewitt  township.  Her  birthplace 
was  Rutland,  Rutland  county,  Vermont,  and 
her  natal  day  was  September  20,  1832.  At  an 
early  age  she  accompanied  her  parents  on  their 
removal  to  New  York,  where  they  remained 
for  several  years.  Afterward  they  came  to  the 
west,  reaching  the  towmship  of  Dewitt,  Clinton 
county,  in  1844.  There  they  endured  many 
hardships  common  to  pioneer  life.  They  first 
settled  in  what  is  now  known  as  Gunnisonville 
until  the  house  on  Mr.  Hurd's  farm  on  section 
20  could  be  completed.  Helen  Hurd  became 
one  of  the  pioneer  teachers  in  the  southern  part 
of  Clinton  county,  acting  in  that  capacity  in 
several  districts  near  her  home  and  also  for 
several  terms  at  Watertown,  Center  and  Victor. 
She  followed  this  profession  until  October  20, 
1856,  when  she  gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to 
Ezra  M.  Hutchins.  They  resided  in  the  village 
of  Dewitt  until  the  fall  of  1857,  wnen  tne 
county  seat  was  removed  from  Dewitt  to  St. 
Johns,  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hutchins  went  to 
Lansing,  where  they  remained  for  a  few  years. 
Unto  them  were  born  five  children :  Mrs.  Abbie 
E.  Dills,  now  living  in  Dewitt;  Daniel  H.  and 
Lizzie  F.,  both  of  Gaylord,  Michigan;  Charles 
M.,   who  died   in    1880;   and   Herbert   E.,   of 


Chicago.  Mrs.  Hutchins  broke  up  housekeep- 
ing in  1882  and  went  to  Lansing  to  keep  house 
for  her  brother,  D.  C.  Hurd,  and  care  for  his 
young  daughter  recently  bereft  of  her  mother. 
She  continued  to  reside  with  her  brother  until 
her  death,  which  occurred  December  20,  1884. 


JAMES  McGILLICUDDY,  M.  D. 

Dr.  James  McGillicuddy,  who  in  the  prac- 
tice of  medicine  at  Shepardsville  is  winning 
creditable  success,  was  born  in  Watford, 
Ontario,  Canada,  November  28,  1871,  his 
parents  being  E.  and  Jane  (Fullerton)  Mc- 
Gillicuddy, both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Ire- 
land. The  father  came  to  America  when  seven 
years  of  age,  settling  in  Canada,  where  for 
many  years  he  has  followed  the  occupation  of 
farming.  Both  he  and  his  wife  are  still  resi- 
dents of  Ontario.  They  have  reared  a  family 
of  eight  children,  of  whom  James  is  the  fifth 
in  order  of  birth. 

Having  acquired  his  elementary  education  in 
the  public  schools  Dr.  McGillicuddy  continued 
his  studies  and  was  graduated  at  the  high 
school  of  Watford,  Ontario,  and  in  the  West- 
ern University,  at  London,  Ontario,  where  he 
remained  for  two  years.  He  afterward  spent 
two  years  in  the  Detroit  College  of  Medicine 
and  was  graduated  with  the  class  of  1898.  In 
June  of  the  same  year  he  located  for  practice 
at  Shepardsville,  where  he  has  since  remained 
in  the  active  work  of  the  profession  with  a  large 
and  growing  patronage.  He  is  a  member  of 
the  Clinton  County  Medical  Society,  the  Michi- 
gan State  Medical  Society  and  the  American 
Medical  Association,  and  keeps  in  touch  with 
the  advanced  thought  of  the  profession  as  re- 
search and  investigation  are  carried  forward 
and  added  truths  promote  the  efficiency  of  the 
medical  fraternity. 

On  the  4th  of  April,  1899,  Dr.  McGil- 
licuddy was  married  to  Miss  Elizabeth  Wiley,, 
a  daughter  of  Duncan  Wiley,  of  Strathroy, 
Ontario,  and  they  have  one  son,  Oliver  B.  Dr. 
McGillicuddy  belongs  to  the  Masonic  fraternity 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


at  Ovid,  having  been  made  a  Mason  in  1893, 
and  he  also  holds  membership  relations  with 
the  Maccabees.  He  has  the  personal  qualities 
that  render  him  popular  and  a  professional 
skill  that  has  gained  him  prominence  as  a  mem- 
ber of  the  medical  fraternity  and  in  his  chosen 
life  work  he  is  making  satisfactory  and  credit- 
able advancement. 


WILLIAM  F.  POTTER. 

William  F.  Potter,  devoting  his  attention  to 
general  agricultural  pursuits  and  stock-raising 
on  section  28,  Victor  township,  has  one  hun- 
dred acres  of  land  that  constitutes  a  good  farm. 
His  residence  in  the  county  covers  a  period  of 
more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  and  he  has 
lived  in  Michigan  since  1867.  He  was  born 
in  the  town  of  Butler,  Wayne  county,  New 
York,  January  23,  1832.  His  father,  Byron 
Potter,  was  a  native  of  New  Jersey  and  when 
a  young  man  removed  to  the  Empire  state, 
where  he  formed  the  acquaintance  of  Abigail 
Lewis,  whom  he  married.  She  was  born  in 
that  state  and  the  young  couple  began  their 
domestic  life  in  Wayne  county,  where  Mr.  Pot- 
ter devoted  his  energies  to  agricultural  pursuits. 
He  was,  however,  a  shoemaker  by  trade  and  fol- 
lowed that  calling  in  early  life. 

William  F.  Potter  spent  the  days  of  his  boy- 
hood and  youth  on  the  old  homestead  farm  in 
Wayne  county,  acquiring  his  education  in  the 
common  schools  and  gaining  an  intimate  knowl- 
edge of  the  best  methods  of  tilling  the  soil  and 
caring  for  the  crops.  He  was  married  when 
twenty  years  of  age  to  Miss  Martha  Ann  Cook, 
a  native  of  Wayne  county,  New  York,  and 
thinking  that  he  might  have  better  business  op- 
portunities in  the  middle  west  he  came  to  Michi- 
gan, locating  on  the  state  line  in  Lenawee 
county.  There  he  rented  a  tract  of  land  and 
engaged  in  farming  for  a  few  years  but  later 
took  up  his  abode  in  Shiawassee  county,  where 
he  owned  and  operated  a  farm,  there  raising 
one  crop.  He  then  leased  the  Dean  farm  for 
six  years  and  subsequently  removed  to  Laings- 
burg,  where  he  resided  for  two  years.    Later  he 


bought  one  hundred  acres  in  Watertown  town- 
ship but  subsequently  sold  that  and  purchased 
an  improved  farm  of  one  hundred  and  forty 
acres  on  section  28,  Victor  township,  where  he 
now  resides.  He  at  once  began  the  further  de- 
velopment of  this  property  and  in  its  manage- 
ment has  shown  thorough  familiarity  with  the 
best  methods  of  cultivating  the  soil  and  rais- 
ing stock.  For  several  years,  however,  he  has 
largely  rented  his  land,  which  relieves  him  of 
much  of  the  care  and  labor  that  developed  upon 
him  in  connection  with  the  cultivation  of  his 
farm. 

At  the  time  of  the  Civil  war  Mr.  Potter 
manifested  his  loyalty  to  the  government  by 
enlisting  at  Hudson,  Branch  county,  in  August, 
1862.  He  joined  Battery  I  and  went  south 
with  the  Flying  Artillery.  He  participated  in 
many  engagements,  including  the  battle  at 
White  Plains,  Arkansas,  and  the  very  hotly 
contested  engagement  at  Gettysburg.  Later  he 
was  sent  to  the  hospital  for  four  months  but  sub- 
sequently rejoined  General  Joe  Hooker's  com- 
mand and  was  in  the  battles  of  Lookout 
Mountain  and  Missionary  Ridge.  For  four 
months  the  trops  were  under  fire  during  almost 
every  hour  out  of  the  twenty-four  in  the  At- 
lanta campaign  and  after  the  capitulation  of 
that  city  Mr.  Potter  returned  with  his  command 
to  Chattanooga,  where  the  battery  was  recruited, 
and  later  went  to  Nashville,  where  occurred  the 
last  battle  in  which  he  took  part.  He  served, 
however,  until  the  close  of  the  war  when  he 
was  honorably  discharged  and  mustered  out  at 
Detroit  in  August,  1865.  His  military  record 
was  a*  creditable  one  for  he  never  faltered  in 
the  performance  of  any  duty. 

Mr.  Potter  lost  his  first  wife  while  living 
in  Laingsburg,  and  in  Shiawassee  county  on 
the  9th  of  December,  1894,  he  was  married  to 
Mrs.  Lovisa  Ann  Kyte,  nee  Wallace,  a  native 
of  Canada,  and  a  daughter  of  Timothy  Wal- 
lace. By  her  former  marriage  Mrs.  Potter  had 
five  children:  Ella  L.,  the  wife  of  Cyrus  A. 
Coles,  of  Shiawassee  county;  Arthur  E.,  now 
in  the  state  of  Wyoming;  Walter  W.,  of  Shia- 
wassee county ;  William,  also  of  Wyoming ;  and 
James  Gordon,  of  South  Omaha. 


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Mr.  Potter  was  deeply  interested  in  the 
questions  which  gave  rise  to  the  new  republi- 
can party  and  cast  his  ballot  for  John  C.  Fre- 
mont as  its  first  presidential  candidate.  He  has 
never  faltered  in  his  allegiance  to  the  support 
of  that  party  from  that  time  until  the  present 
but  has  been  without  political  aspiration  for 
himself.  He  became  a  member  of  Laingsburg 
lodge,  I.  O.  O.  F.,  in  which  he  has  filled  all  of 
the  chairs  and  is  a  past  grand,  while  he  and  his 
wife  are  prominent  members  of  the  Rebekah 
lodge.  His  acquaintance  in  this  part  of  the 
state  is  extensive  and  the  position  which  he 
holds  in  public  regard  is  enviable.  He  has 
lived  a  useful  life,  has  fought  for  the  old  flag 
and  the  Union,  and  is  one  of  the  few  surviv- 
ing soldiers,  for  the  ranks  of  the  army  are  be- 
ing fast  disseminated. 


E.  A.  CLISE. 


In  his  farm  work  E.  A.  Clise  has  prospered 
and  has  also  conducted  a  successful  business  as 
a  contractor  and  builder  of  Clinton  county. 
He  now  owns  and  operates  one  hundred  and 
forty  acres  of  land  on  section  8,  Bath  township, 
and  the  value  of  the  property  makes  him  a  sub- 
stantial resident  of  the  community.  A  half 
century  has  passed  since  he  came  to  Michigan 
and  during  thirty-seven  years  he  has  lived  in 
Clinton  county.  His  birth  occurred  in  the 
town  of  Phelps,  Ontario  county,  New  York, 
on  the  7th  of  November,  1854,  his  parents 
being  Frederick  and  Marguerite  (Gordon) 
Clise.  The  father  was  born  in  Ontario  county, 
New  York,  where  he  was  reared  to  manhood 
and  was  married.  In  1855  he  removed  to 
Michigan,  settling  first  in  Lenawee  county, 
where  he  resided  for  a  few  years  and  subse- 
quently took  up  his  abode  in  Isabella  county. 
There  he  also  lived  for  a  few  years,  working 
in  the  forests,  and  in  1868  he  came  to  Clinton 
county,  purchasing  and  locating  upon  the  farm 
where  his  son  E.  A.  Clise  now  resides.  He 
cut  down  the  trees,  cleared  away  the  brush, 
grubbed  out  the  stumps,  sowed  his  seed  and  in 


due  course  of  time  gathered  rich  harvests,  con- 
tinuing to  make  his  home  upon  the  farm  until 
in  old  age,  when  he  removed  to  the  village  of 
Bath,  where  he  died  in  1904,  when  almost 
ninety  years  of  age.  His  wife  had  passed  away 
in  1899.  They  were  the  parents  of  twelve 
children,  six  sons  and  six  daughters.  Two  of 
the  sons  died  while  serving  their  country  in 
the  war  of  the  Rebellion  and  one  died  in  Gal- 
veston, Texas,  while  a  daughter  has  also  passed 
away.     The  others  are  still  living. 

E.  A.  Clise,  brought  to  Michigan  when  only 
a  year  old,  was  largely  reared  in  Clinton  county 
and  pursued  his  education  in  the  district  schools. 
He  remained  with  his  father  through  his 
minority  and  was  afterward  engaged  for  two 
years  on  the  construction  of  the  Texas  Railroad 
with  the  department  of  bridge  building.  Later 
he  returned  home  and  here  followed  carpenter- 
ing, having  learned  the  trade  in  early  life.  He 
has  carried  on  business  as  a  contractor  and 
builder  for  twenty-five  or  thirty  years,  build- 
ing, various  houses  and  barns  throughout  the 
county.  He  also  succeeded  to  the  old  home 
place,  whereon  he  has  erected  a  go6d  residence, 
two  barns,  a  granary  and  other  buildings.  His 
farm  is  supplied  with  modern  equipments,  in- 
cluding the  latest  improved  machinery,  and 
everything  about  the  place  indicates  the  careful 
supervision  of  a  progressive  owner,  whose 
methods  are  practical,  so  that  sure  and  satis- 
factory results  follow. 

In  November,  1876,  Mr.  Clise  was  married 
to  Miss  Emma  C.  Batchelder,  who  was  born 
in  Bath  township  and  is  a  daughter  of  S. 
Batchelder,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Clinton 
county,  who  came  from  New  York.  There  are 
three  children  of  this  marriage:  Watt  L.,  a 
mail  carrier  of  St.  Johns,  who  is  married;  B. 
B.,  who  is  a  sophomore  in  the  Agricultural  Col- 
lege, at  Lansing ;  and  Zella,  a  stenographer  and 
typewriter  employed  in  Ann  Arbor. 

For  two  terms  Mr.  Clise  has  served  as  high- 
way commissioner,  elected  on  the  democratic 
ticket.  He  is  numbered  among  the  old  set- 
tlers of  the  county  and  has  done  much  for  its 
improvement  and  development,  contributing  in 
substantial  measure  to  the  work  of  progress 
here.     Many  of  the  residences  and  barns  of 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


the  county  show  his  handiwork,  which  is  also 
displayed  in  the  well  tilled  fields  and  the  fine 
appearance  of  his  farm. 


CYRUS  SHERMAN. 


Cyrus  Sherman,  now  living  a  retired  life  in 
Ovid,  Clinton  county,  Michigan,  has  through 
well  directed  activity  and  enterprise  in  busi- 
ness achieved  success  and  at  the  same  time  has 
attained  to  high  honors  in  political  service, 
representing  his  district  in  the  state  legislature 
and  filling  other  offices,  wherein  he  has  demon- 
strated his  loyalty  to  the  public  good.  More- 
over, he  has  made  a  creditable  military  record 
and  thus  his  life  in  its  varied  relations  has 
commended  him  to  the  confidence  and  respect 
of  his  fellowmen. 

A  native  of  Onondaga  county,   New  York, 
Mr.   Sherman  was  born  on  the   30th  of   Sep- 
tember,   1 84 1,  his  parents  being  Leonard  and 
Anna   (Whitford)   Sherman.     The  father  was 
a  native  of  Isle  Lamotte,  Vermont,  while  the 
mother   was   born   at   Crown   Point   in    Essex 
county,  New  York.     His  natal  day  was  Janu- 
ary 27,    1805,   and  he  departed  this   life   No- 
vember 8,  1858,  while  his  wife,  who  was  born 
March  24,    1804,   died   March   26,    1876.      In 
their   family   were   twelve   children,   of   whom 
Cyrus   was   the   ninth   in   order   of  birth,   and 
those  still  living  are  George,  Leonard,  Melvin, 
Henry,  Ann  Eliza,  Cyrus  and  Silas  T.     The 
surviving  daughter  is  the  wife  of  E.  D.  Horton. 
When  thirteen  years  of  age  Cyrus  Sherman 
accompanied  his  parents  on  their  removal  to 
Wisconsin  and  soon  afterward  he  began  earn- 
ing his  own  living  by  working  as  a  farm  hand 
by  the  month.     His  educational  privileges  up 
to  that  time  were  limited  and  desirous  of  ac- 
quiring broader  knowledge  as  a  better  prepar- 
ation for  his  life's  work,  he  entered  Hillsdale 
College,  of  Hillsdale,  Michigan,  in  the  spring 
of   i860,   meeting  the  expenses  of  the  course 
through  his  own  labor.     In  December,   1861, 
however,  he  left  college  in  order  to  join  the 


army,  responding  to  the  country's  call  for  aid 
by  enlisting  as  a  member  of  Company  C, 
Eleventh  Michigan  Volunteer  Infantry.  He 
took  part  in  fifteen  hard  fought  battles,  includ- 
ing the  siege  of  Atlanta  and  the  raid  in  Ala- 
bama after  Morgan's  guerillas.  He  was  with 
General  Harrison  when  he  won  his  star  at 
Peach  Tree  Creek.  Being  taken  a  prisoner  he 
was  incarcerated  for  a  time  in  Libby  prison  but 
when  exchanged  at  once  rejoined  his  regiment 
and  was  mustered  out  at  Chattanooga,  Ten- 
nessee, as  orderly  sergeant,  December  9,  1864. 
His  military  record  was  a  creditable  one  be- 
cause throughout  the  period  of  his  connection 
with  the  army  he  was  always  found  at  his  post 
of  duty  whether  it  called  him  to  the  lonely 
picket  line  or  to  the  firing  line. 

In  December,  1865,  Mr.  Sherman  took  up 
his  abode  in  Ovid  township,  settling  upon  a 
new  farm.  The  land  was  wild  and  unimproved 
and  he  had  to  clear  it  before  he  could  plant  the 
crops  and  carry  forward  the  work  of  cultiva- 
tion. This  arduous  task  he  capably  performed, 
his  labors  being  characterized  by  unremitting 
diligence  and  persistency  of  purpose  and  in  the 
course  of  years  as  the  result  of  his  active  work 
on  the  farm  he  became  the  possessor  of  a  very 
gratifying  competence.  During  this  period  he 
was  also  called  to  public  office  in  recognition  of 
his  fidelity  to  his  party  and  his  capability  for 
the  duties  of  the  various  offices  that  were  con- 
ferred upon  him.  He  served  at  different  times 
as  highway  commissioner,  treasurer  and  su- 
pervisor. He  was  elected  to  the  last  mentioned 
office  in  1889  by  a  majority  of  two  hundred 
and  -forty  and  in  1900  he  was  re-elected.  He 
was  elected  to  represent  Clinton  county  in  the 
state  legislature  as  the  republican  candidate  in 
1888-9  and  proved  an  able  working  member  of 
the  general  assembly. 

On  the  27th  of  September,  1865,  Mr.  Sher- 
man was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Cyrene 
M.  Adams,  a  daughter  of  James  and  Mary 
(Hazen)  Adams,  the  former  a  native  of  Mas- 
sachusetts and  the  latter  of  New  York.  Com- 
ing to  Michigan  they  settled  in  Lenawee  county, 
where  they  were  married.  The  father  died  in 
Litchfield,  Hillsdale  county,  when  forty  years 


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MRS.  CYRUS  SHERMAN. 


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CYRUS  SHERMAN. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


267 


of  age,  and  his  wife  passed  away  in  Ovid,  at 
the  age  of  sixty-four  years.  In  1900  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Sherman  took  up  their  abode  in  Ovid, 
where  he  is  now  living  a  retired  life,  his  former 
labors  supplying  him  with  all  the  comforts  and 
many  of  the  luxuries  that  go  to  make  life  worth 
living.  They  adopted  and  reared  two  children, 
the  daughter  being  Cora  Blackner,  whom  they 
took  at  the  age  of  three  years.  She  is  now  the 
wife  of  E.  A.  Fox,  a  druggist  of  Central  Lake, 
Michigan,  formerly  of  Elsie,  and  they  have  two 
children,  Homer  S.  and  Muriel  R.  The 
adopted  son  was  James  C.  V.,  who  lived  with 
them  from  the  age  of  six  until  his  death  at  the 
age  of  twenty-two  years. 

Mr.  Sherman  belongs  to  George  A.  Winans 
post,  G.  A.  R.,  of  which  he  is  now  post  com- 
mander, and  he  has  also  been  the  vice  presi- 
dent of  the  Michigan  Association  of  Ex- 
Prisoners  of  War.  He  is  a  man  of  generous 
impulses  and  kindly  spirit.  He  devotes  much 
of  his  time  now  to  fishing  and  to  the  enjoy- 
ment of  other  outings  with  his  friends,  and  his 
rest  and  pleasure  are  richly  deserved  because 
of  his  honorable  activity  in  former  years. 


NEWELL    PARKER. 


Newell  Parker,  who  has  a  farm  on  section 
14,  Victor  township,  comprising  one  hundred 
and  sixty-seven  acres  of  land,  is  a  native  son 
of  the  county,  his  birth  having  occurred  in  the 
township  where  he  yet  resides  on  the  3d  of 
July,  i860.  He  is  a  son  of  John  Parker  and 
a  brother  of  Epson  Parker,  who  is  mentioned 
elsewhere  in  this  work  and  in  whose  history 
is  given  the  record  of  the  parents.  Newell 
Parker  was  reared  in  the  usual  manner  of  farm 
lads,  working  in  the  fields  through  the  summer 
months  and  in  the  winter  seasons  attending  the 
public  schools,  wherein  he  acquired  a  good 
practical  education.  He  remained  with  his 
mother  until  he  had  attained  his  majority  and 
succeeded  to  a  part  of  the  old  homestead,  after 
which  he  cleared  his  land,  built  a  home  and 
opened  up  a  farm.     He  now  has  a  splendidly 


improved  property  in  the  midst  of  which  stands 
a  modern  residence  built  of  brick  and  two 
stories  in  height.  There  are  also  two  good 
barns  upon  the  place,  a  windpump  and  other 
modern  equipments.  He  has  likewise  planted 
an  orchard  and  made  the  farm  what  it  is  to- 
day— one  of  the  best  improved  properties  of  the 
locality.  The  fields  are  entirely  clear  of 
stumps  and  rocks  and  there  are  over  two  miles 
of  Page  wire  fencing  on  the  place.  In  the 
pastures  are  seen  good  grades  of  stock  for  he 
makes  a  specialty  of  raising  Shorthorn  cattle. 
He  is  an  excellent  judge  of  stock  and  there- 
fore makes  judicious  purchases  and  profitable 
sales.  In  everything  that  he  does  he  is  emi- 
nently practical  and  his  methods  have  been 
attended  with  a  gratifying  measure  of  pros- 
perity. 

Mr.  Parker  was  married,  in  Victor  town- 
ship, January  3,  1883,  to  Miss  Carrie  H. 
Beech,  who  was  born  in  White  Oak,  Michigan, 
and  is  a  daughter  of  John  Beech,  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Clinton  county,  mentioned 
elsewhere  in  this  work,  his  home  being  on  sec- 
tion 36,  Victor  township.  Mrs.  Parker  was 
reared  and  educated  in  this  part  of  the  county 
and  by  her  marriage  has  become  the  mother  of 
four  children  but  they  lost  one,  Ralph,  who 
died  in  infancy.  Those  still  living  are  John 
Rae,  Edwinna  and  Arthur  Newell,  all  at  home. 

Politically  independent  Mr.  Parker  votes  for 
men  and  measures  rather  than  party.  He  was 
elected  and  served  for  one  term  as  justice  of 
the  peace  but  has  never  desired  public  office. 
He  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  church,  in  which  Mr.  Parker  is  serv- 
ing as  a  trustee,  wrhile  for  some  years  he  has 
been  superintendent  of  the  Sunday-school,  tak- 
ing an  active  and  helpful  part  in  both  the 
church  and  Sunday-school  work.  He  belongs 
to  the  Masonic  fraternity  of  Laingsburg,  and 
both  he  and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  East- 
ern Star  and  also  of  the  local  Grange.  He  is 
a  thorough  and  painstaking  farmer,  keeping  his 
place  in  excellent  condition  and  in  business 
affairs  displays  keen  sagacity  and  unfaltering 
enterprise.  Through  his  well  directed  efforts 
he  has  achieved  success  and  moreover  he  is  a 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


worthy  representative  of  one  of  the  pioneer 
families  of  the  county,  while  at  all  times  he 
has  done  his  full  share  toward  promoting  the 
material  and  moral  progress  of  the  community. 


SAMUEL  BARRETT. 

Samuel  Barrett,  living  on  section  28,  Victor 
township,  is  one  of  the  substantial  farmers  of 
Clinton  county,  owning  five  hundred  acres  of 
valuable  land  which  is  the  visible  evidence  of 
his  life  of  thrift  and  industry.  He  has  for 
more  than  forty  years  lived  within  the  borders 
of  Clinton  county,  witnessing  its  growth  and 
development,  while  Michigan  has  been  the  place 
of  his  residence  since  185 1.  A  native  of  Ire- 
land, he  was  born  in  County  Cavan,  July  27, 
1841,  his  parents  being  John  and  Fannie  (Por- 
ter) Barrett,  both  of  whom  were  reared  and 
educated  in  Ireland.  The  father  followed  the 
occupation  of  farming  in  that  country  and  there 
the  ten  children  of  the  family  were  born.  Mrs. 
Barrett  and  her  children  came  to  the  new  world 
in  1844,  landing  at  New  York  city,  and  for 
several  years  they  resided  in  Brooklyn.  Mr. 
Barrett  disposed  of  his  business  interests  in  Ire- 
land before  joining  the  family  in  Brooklyn,  but 
believing  that  the  west  would  afford  better  busi- 
ness opportunities  he  came  to  Michigan  in  185 1, 
settling  on  a  farm  in  the  town  of  Commerce, 
Oakland  county.  The  following  year  he  bought 
a  farm  in  the  town  of  White  Lake  and  thereon 
spent  his  remaining  days,  his  death  occurring 
about  1859.  His  wife  survived  him  for  a 
number  of  years  and  died  in  that  locality. 

Samuel  Barrett  was  reared  to  manhood  in 
Oakland  county  and  received  common-school 
advantages  but  when  thirteen  years  of  age 
started  out  in  life  on  his  own  account.  He  has 
since  bfeen  dependent  entirely  upon  his  own  re- 
sources, so  that  whatever  success  he  has 
achieved  and  enjoyed  is  the  direct  result  of  his 
earnest  labor.  He  worked  for  seven  years  by 
the  month  as  a  farm  hand  and  drove  a  team  of 
five  yoke  of  oxen  to  a  breaking  plow,  thus  turn- 
ing the  sod  upon  many  an  uncultivated  tract  of 


prairie.  It  was  an  arduous  task  but  was  faith- 
fully performed  by  him  and  thus  he  gained  his 
start  in  life. 

Mr.  Barrett  was  married  in  Oakland  county, 
Michigan,  on  the  25th  of  March,  1863,  to  Miss 
Sarah  Sexton,  a  native  of  Illinois  and  a  sister 
of  Zephaniah  and  Job  W.  Sexton,  who  are  men- 
tioned elsewhere  in  this  work.  After  their  mar- 
riage Mr.  and  Mrs.  Barrett  began  their  do- 
mestic life  on  a  farm  in  Victor  township.  The 
original  homestead  comprised  eighty  acres, 
which  he  cultivated  and  improved,  making  it  a 
productive  tract  by  the  care  and  labor  he  be- 
stowed on  the  fields.  From  time  to  time  he 
bought  more  land  until  he  owned  a  tract  of 
over  three  hundred  acres  but  later  he  sold  that 
property  and  purchased  his  present  home,  first 
becoming  the  owner  of  two  hundred  and  forty- 
eight  acres.  He  has  since,  however,  purchased 
a  number  of  other  tracts  in  Victor  township 
and  now  owns  about  five  hundred  acres  in  the 
home  place,  constituting  a  productive  and  valu- 
able farm.  It  is  lacking  in  none  of  the  modern 
equipments  and  accessories  which  indicate  the 
careful  supervision  of  a  painstaking  owner.  He 
has  erected  a  good  residence,  also  a  large  and 
substantial  basement  barn,  granary  and  other 
outbuildings.  The  place  is  now  very  attractive 
in  its  appearance  and  its  value  has  appreciated 
through  the  labor  he  has  bestowed  upon  the 
fields.  He  has  made  a  business  of  raising  good 
graded  stock  and  keeps  a  thoroughbred  Clydes- 
dale horse  for  breeding  purposes.  He  also  buys 
and  ships  horses  and  is  a  business  man  of  con- 
siderable discernment  and  enterprise. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Barrett  have  been  born 
nine  children:  Julia,  born  January  21,  1864,  is 
the  wife  of  Alda  Watkins,  of  Morrice;  Nora, 
born  February  17,  1866,  is  the  wife  of  Loren 
Watkins,  of  Perry,  Michigan;  Anna,  born  June 
28,  1868,  is  the  wife  of  Fred  Skarrett,  of  Victor 
township;  William,  born  February  11,  1870,  is 
married  and  is  engaged  in  business  in  Perry, 
this  state ;  Zephaniah  Sexton  Barrett,  born  May 
3,  1872,  assists  his  father  in  carrying  on  the 
home  farm;  Sadie,  born  July  14,  1875,  occupies 
a  business  position  in  Perry;  Maud,  born  De- 
cember 28,  1877,  is  ^e  wife  of  Wing  Waters, 


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a  farmer  of  the  town  of  Perry;  Lou,  born 
August  28,  1879,  is  in  Morrice,  Michigan;  and 
Millie,  born  January  26,  1881,  is  the  wife  of 
John  Alcott,  a  business  man  of  Perry. 

Since  age  gave  him  the  right  of  franchise 
Mr.  Barrett  has  never  wavered  in  his  allegiance 
to  the  democracy  but  while  he  keeps  well  in- 
formed on  the  questions  and  issues  of  the  day 
he  has  never  sought  or  desired  office.  He  and 
his  wife  are  members  of  the  United  Brethren 
church,  and  for  about  twenty  years  he  has  been 
a  member  of  the  Odd  Fellows  society  of 
Laingsburg.  He  likewise  belongs  to  the  Grange 
and  was  its  chaplain  for  a  number  of  years. 
He  is  one  of  Clinton  county's  prominent  and 
prosperous  farmers  and  a  successful  stock  raiser 
and  dealer. 


JOSEPH  HESS. 


Joseph  Hess,  residing  on  section  6,  Duplain 
township,  where  he  is  giving  his  time  and  at- 
tention to  general  agricultural  pursuits,  has  re- 
sided upon  this  farm  of  eighty  acres  since  the 
5th  of  October,  1875.  He  is  a  native  of  Ohio, 
his  birth  having  occurred  in  Knox  county,  on 
the  2d  of  September,  1838.  His  father,  John 
Hess,  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1803  and 
before  leaving  his  native  state  was  married. 
His  first  wife  died  in  Pennsylvania,  leaving  one 
child,  and  he  afterward  removed  to  Knox 
county,  Ohio,  where  he  married  again,  Miss 
Catherine  Beech,  a  native  of  the  Keystone 
state,  becoming  his  wife.  Mr.  Hess  devoted 
his  time  and  energies  to  farming  in  Knox 
county  and  there  reared  his  family  of  twelve 
children.  He  was  one  of  the  worthy  and  re- 
spected citizens  of  the  community  and  he  at- 
tained to  a  ripe  old  age,  passing  away  in  1885, 
while  his  second  wife  died  about  1877.  Their 
children  were  Joseph,  George,  Joshua,  Mrs. 
Maria  Greenwood,  Sarah,  Sophia  and  Mary. 
There  is  also  a  half-brother,  Michael  Hess. 

Joseph  Hess  was  reared  in  the  state  of  his 
nativity,  spending  his  boyhood  and  youth  upon 
the  home  farm  and  on  attaining  his  majority  he 
started  out  upon  an  active  business  venture, 


working  by  the  month  as  a  farm  hand  for 
thirteen  dollars  per  month.  He  considered  it 
good  pay  at  that  time.  He  was  employed  for 
nine  years  in  a  linseed  oil  mill  and  thus  largely 
made  advancement  in  the  businesss  world, 
largely  saving  his  earnings  until  his  capital 
made  possible  the  purchase  of  a  farm. 

On  the  nth  of  December,  1873,  in  Knox 
county,  Mr.  Hess  was  united  in  marriage  to 
Miss  *  Amanda  Myers,  who  was  born  and 
reared  in  that  county.  In  1874  he  came  to 
Michigan  and  purchased  his  present  farm,  of 
which  nine  acres  had  been  cleared  and  a  log 
cabin  built  thereon.  He  located  on  this  prop- 
erty in  1875  and  at  once  began  to  clear  the 
land  and  fence  and  improve  the  place.  He  now 
has  about  seventy  acres  under  the  plow  and 
this  is  divided  into  well  kept  fields  all  cleared 
of  stumps.  He  built  a  good  residence  and  barn 
and  in  fact  has  added  all  modern  equipments 
to  his  place,  which  in  its  neat  and  attractive  ap- 
pearance indicates  in  unmistakable  way  the 
enterprise  and  careful  management  of  the 
owner,  who  is  now  profitably  conducting  his 
farm  interests.  He  also  raises  stock  and  both 
branches  of  his  business  are  returning  him  a 
good  income. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hess  have  three  living  chil- 
dren :  Stella,  the  wife  of  Charles  Galehouse,  a 
mechanic  of  Isabella  county.  Michigan;  Ger- 
trude, the  wife  of  William  Wright,  a  farmer 
of  Duplain  township;  and  Minnie  E.,  the  wife 
of  Virgil  Wright,  who  is  living  upon  her 
father's  farm.  They  also  lost  two  children, 
Arthur  and  Henry,  who  died  at  the  ages  of 
eight  and  seven  years  respectively  within  three 
days  of  each  other,  the  disease  being  diph- 
theria. Mr.  Hess  and  his  family  are  members 
of  the  Evangelical  church  and  he  affiliates  with 
Eureka  lodge,  I.  O.  O.  F.  Politically,  how- 
ever, he  is  independent,  voting  for  the  best 
men  regardless  of  party  allegiance.  He  has 
served  as  drain  commissioner  for  two  years  but 
has  never  been  active  as  an  office  seeker,  find- 
ing that  his  farming  interests  fully  claim  his 
time  and  attention.  In  all  of  his  work  he  is 
eminently  practical  and  is  making  steady  prog- 
ress   toward    the    goal    of    prosperity,    being 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


already  in  possession  of  a  desirable  compe- 
tence that  has  come  to  him  entirely  through 
his  earnest  labor. 


WILLIAM  CHAPLIN. 

William  Chaplin,  the  secret  of  whose  suc- 
cess is  found  in  earnest,  self-denying  labor,  now 
owns  a  good  farm  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
acres  on  sections  19  and  30,  Watertown  town- 
ship, and  lives  retired  in  Wacousta.  He  is  a 
native  of  England,  where  he  remained  until 
twenty  years  of  age.  His  birth  occurred  on 
the  25th  of  February,  1835,  his  parents  being 
Charles  and  Sarah  (Cotterel)  Chaplin,  who  al- 
ways remained  residents  of  the  mother  country. 
William  Chaplin  was  only  three  years  old  when 
his  mother  died.  He  spent  the  days  of  his  boy- 
hood and  youth  in  his  native  land  and  is  the 
only  one  of  the  family  that  ever  came  to  Amer- 
ica. In  T855  he  crossed  the  Atlantic  and  for 
eight  years  was  a  resident  of  the  state  of  New 
York,  during  which  time  he  was  employed  by 
the  month  as  a  farm  hand.  He  then  came  to 
Clinton  county,  Michigan,  and  settled  on  eighty 
acres  of  wild  land  on  section  19,  Watertown 
township.  He  then  began  farming  on  his  own 
account  and  lived  on  his  original  property  until 
1896,  when  he  removed  to  Wacousta,  where  he 
is  now  living  a  retired  life,  enjoying  in  well 
earned  ease  the  fruits  of  his  former  toil.  Hard 
work  has  been  the  basis  of  his  success  and  as  the 
years  have  gone  by  he  has  so  directed  his 
efforts  that  he  is  now  one  of  the  substantial  citi- 
zens of  the  community.  He  had  little  oppor- 
tunity for  acquiring  an  education  and  thus  with- 
out the  advantage  of  superior  mental  training 
or  pecuniary  assistance  he  has  worked  his  way 
steadily  upward. 

Mr.  Chaplin  was  married  in  1864  to  Miss 
Elizabeth  Warboys,  a  daughter  of  Thomas 
Warboys,  of  England,  who  on  coming  to 
America  settled  first  in  New  York  and  then 
removed  to  Michigan.  Six  children  have  been 
born  of  this  union:  Emma,  now  the  wife  of 
Henry  Brown  and  a  resident  of  Grand  Ledge, 


Michigan;  Louisa,  the  wife  of  Oscar  Garlock, 
of  Oneida  towTnship,  Eaton  county;  Esther,  the 
wife  of  Loren  Dayton,  of  Watertown  town- 
ship; John  T.,  of  Oneida  township,  Eaton 
county;  Charles,  who  is  living  in  Watertown 
township;  and  Henry  C,  also  of  Oneida  town- 
ship. The  wife  and  mother  died  in  1898,  at 
the  age  of  sixty-seven  years,  and  in  December, 
1899,  Mr.  Chaplin  was  again  married,  his  sec- 
ond union  being  with  Mary  J.  Fales,  of  Van 
Buren  county,  Michigan,  a  daughter  of  Philip 
R.  Weaver,  of  Newark,  Wayne  county,  New 
York.  Her  father  was  a  boot  and  shoe  dealer 
in  early  manhood  and  afterward  engaged  in 
farming  until  his  death,  which  occurred  in 
1878,  when  he  was  sixty-one  years  of  age.  His 
wife,  who  bore  the  maiden  name  of  Elizabeth 
Knapp,  lived  to  the  age  of  fifty-three  years. 
Mrs.  Chaplin,  their  only  daughter,  was  edu- 
cated in  the  Ladies'  Seminary,  at  Newark,  New 
York,  and  received  a  good  musical  education  in 
Sherwood's  Musical  Academy,  at  Lyons,  that 
state.  She  comes  of  a  family  of  musicians  and 
is  a  lady  of  superior  culture  and  refinement. 
She  still  keeps  in  touch  with  musical  progress, 
has  successfully  engaged  in  teaching  music  and 
has  played  before  large  assemblages,  being  a 
valued  factor  in  musical  circles  in  this  part  of 
the  state. 

Mr.  Chaplin  has  served  in  some  minor  offices 
such  as  school  director  and  overseer  of  high- 
ways but  has  preferred  to  give  his  undivided  at- 
tention to  his  business  affairs  and  as  the  years 
have  gone  by  has  so  directed  his  labors  that  his 
efforts  have  been  crowned  with  prosperity.  His 
life  has  been  honorable,  his  actions  manly  and 
sincere  and  to-day  he  is  numbered  among  the 
representative  citizens  of  Clinton  county. 


WILLARD  KING. 


Willard  King,  who  for  many  years  has  been 
connected  with  agricultural  pursuits  in  Clinton 
county,  and  in  earlier  years  took  an  active  and 
helpful  part  in  the  work  of  substantial  im- 
provement and  development  in  this  section  of 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  WILLIAM  CHAPLIN. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


273 


the  state,  was  born  January  8,  182 1,  in  Monroe 
county,  New  York.  In  the  paternal  line  he 
comes  from  an  old  Massachusetts  family.  His 
parents  were  David  and  Electa  (McKee) 
King,  both  natives  of  Otsego,  New  York, 
where  they  spent  their  entire  lives.  The  Mc- 
Kee family  came  originally  from  Connecticut. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  King  had  six  children,  of  whom 
four  are  living :  Loren,  a  resident  of  Lockport, 
New  York;  Willard,  of  this  review;  Mary,  the 
wife  of  Daniel  Maynard,  of  Kenosha,  Wiscon- 
sin; and  George  E.,  who  is  living  in  Water- 
town  township. 

Willard  King  spent  the  days  of  his  boyhood 
and  youth  in  the  state  of  his  nativity  but  at- 
tracted by  the  possibilities  of  the  great  and 
growing  west  he  came  to  Michigan  in  1845, 
making  the  journey  by  way  of  the  lakes  to  De- 
troit and  thence  walking  to  Watertown  town- 
ship. After  purchasing  forty  acres  of  land  he 
returned  to  New  York,  and  in  1847  ne  was 
married  and  took  up  his  abode  permanently  in 
this  county.  He  located  first  in  Eagle  town- 
ship and  afterward  bought  one  hundred  acres 
on  section  22,  Watertown  township,  where  he 
now  resides.  It  was  then  in  the  midst  of  an 
unbroken  wilderness  and  Lansing  was  his 
nearest  trading  point,  while  his  mail  was  se- 
cured at  Jenison  postoffice  in  Eagle  township. 
He  has  resided  continuously  upon  the  farm 
with  the  exception  of  five  years  spent  in  Lan- 
sing, three  years  of  which  time  he  had  charge 
of  the  reform  school,  while  for  two  years  he 
was  engaged  in  merchandising.  His  labors 
wrought  a  wonderful  transformation  in  this 
place  as  he  cut  down  the  timber,  cleared  the 
fields  and  brought  the  land  to  a  high  state  of 
cultivation.  His  original  home  was  a  log  cabin 
which  in  pioneer  times  was  destroyed  by  fire, 
the  family  barely  escaping  with  their  lives. 
Mr.  King  did  not  allow  this  loss  to  discourage 
him  but  with  renewed  courage  and  energy  set 
to  work  to  provide  another  home  for  his  fam- 
ily and  as  the  years  have  gone  by  he  has  in  an 
active  business  career  overcome  all  the  diffi- 
culties and  obstacles  that  have  barred  his  path 
to  success,  so  that  now  in  the  evening  of  life 
he  is  possessed  of  a  handsome  competence  that 


supplies  him  with  the  comforts  and  many  of 
the  luxuries  that  go  to  make  life  worth  the 
living.  In  1885  he  erected  a  modern  house  of 
brick  and  he  has  also  built  good  barns  on  his 
place.  In  fact  it  is  a  well  equipped  property 
and  in  its  thrifty  appearance  gives  every  indi- 
cation of  the  careful  supervision  of  the  owner. 
Mr.  King  is  a  representative  of  the  sturdy 
pioneer  stock  of  Clinton  county  and  feels  just 
pride  in  the  growth  and  development  of  his 
locality  and  township  through  these  years. 
Marvelous  have  been  the  changes  that  have 
been  wrought  for  the  county  is  to-day  pro- 
vided with  splendid  railroad,  telegraph  and 
telephone  facilities,  with  rural  free  delivery 
and  with  all  the  modern  equipments  and  con- 
veniences known  to  the  older  east.  He  was  in- 
strumental in  laying  out  many  roads  in  an 
early  day  and  took  an  active  and  helpful  part 
in  township  affairs,  being  always  found  on  the 
side  of  progress  and  improvement. 

In  1846  Mr.  King  was  united  in  marriage  to 
Miss  Edna  Lowell,  a  daughter  of  a  Mr.  Lowell, 
of  Orleans  county,  New  York,  who  came  to 
Clinton  county  and  located  near  the  home  of 
Mr.  King,  spending  his  remaining  days  here. 
Unto  our  subject  and  his  wife  have  been  born 
three' children :  Benjamin  F.,  the  eldest,  living 
in  Watertown  township,  married  Miss  Sarah 
Hammel,  a  daughter  of  the  late  B.  F.  Ham- 
mel,  of  Watertown  township.  He  owns  a 
farm  known  as  the  Lovell  property  besides  the 
one  upon  which  our  subject  now  resides. 
Frances  become  the  wife  of  R.  N.  Lee,  of 
Watertown.  H.  Meloa  has  for  seventeen  years 
been  a  teacher  in  the  district  and  high  schools. 
In  politics  Mr.  King  has  been  a  stanch  re- 
publican since  casting  his  first  presidential  bal- 
lot for  John  C.  Fremont.  He  has  served  as 
highway  commissioner,  also  as  deputy  sheriff 
of  Clinton  county  for  four  years  under  Sheriff 
McDonald.  He  served  on  the  jury  in  Clinton 
county  when  court  was  held  at  Dewitt  and  his 
name  is  inseparably  interwoven  with  many  of 
the  early  events  of  the  county  that  find  men- 
tion in  the  annals  of  this  part  of  the  state.  For 
almost  sixty  years  he  has  owned  his  present 
farm  and  it  has  become  a  valuable  property, 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


owing  to  the  care  and  labor  he  has  bestowed 
upon  it.  Moreover  he  has  done  his  full  share 
in  promoting  the  work  of  public  progress  and 
improvement.  He  has  now  passed  the  eighty- 
fourth  milestone  on  life's  journey  and  receives 
the  veneration  and  respect  which  should  ever 
be  accorded  one  of  his  years  for  his  life  record 
has  at  all  times  been  honorable  and  upright. 


EPSON  PARKER. 


The  student  of  history  can  not  carry  his  in- 
vestigation far  into  the  records  of  Clinton 
county  without  learning  of  the  close  and  valu- 
able connection  of  the  Parker  family  in  promot- 
ing the  progress  and  upbuilding  of  Victor 
township  and  this  section  of  the  state.  Epson 
Parker  of  this  review  was  reared  on  the  old 
farm  homestead  on  section  14,  Victor  town- 
ship, and  few  residents  of  the  county  have  so 
long  resided  within  its  borders  for  he  dates  his 
residence  in  the  county  since  June,  1837,  having 
been  brought  to  Michigan  in  his  infancy.  He 
was  born  in  Seneca  county,  New  York,  April 
18,  1836,  and  is  a  son  of  John  Parker,  who  was 
a  native  of  New  Jersey,  born  in  1803.  The 
grandfather,  Jonathan  Parker,  was  likewise  a 
native  of  New  Jersey,  and  the  family  is  of  Eng- 
lish lineage,  the  first  ancestors  in  America  hav- 
ing settled  in  New  Jersey  at  an  early  period  in 
its  colonization. 

John  Parker  removed  from  his  native  state 
to  New  York  with  his  mother  and  the  family 
and  was  reared  to  manhood  in  Seneca  county. 
There,  after  arriving  at  years  of  maturity,  he 
wedded  Sarah  Cronkite,  who  was  a  native  of 
that  county  and  came  of  German  lineage.  He 
followed  farming  in  Seneca  county  for  some 
years  and  in  1837  he  removed  westward  to 
Michigan,  being  among  the  first  settlers  of  Vic- 
tor township,  Clinton  county.  His  first  pur- 
chase of  land  covered  eighty  acres,  which  he 
bought  from  William  Swarthout,  who  came 
with  the  Parkers  from  New  York.  John 
Parker  cleared  and  fenced  his  place,  erected 
buildings  there  and  opened  up  a  farm,  and  tak- 


ing advantage  of  existing  business  conditions 
and  making  the  most  of  his  opportunities  as  the 
years  passed  by  he  became  an  extensive  land- 
owner, having  several  hundred  acres.  He  was 
one  of  the  prosperous  and  well-to-do  agricul- 
turists of  Clinton  county  and  his  labors  were 
not  only  of  value  to  himself  but  proved  a  help- 
ful element  in  the  reclamation  of  this  district 
for  the  use  of  civilization.  His  death  occurred 
here  July  4,  1863,  when  he  was  sixty  years  of 
age.  His  wife  survived  him  for  a  number  of 
years  and  passed  away  in  1902,  at  the  ripe  old 
age  of  nearly  eighty-seven  years.  At  the  death 
of  her  husband  Mrs.  Parker  took  charge  of  the 
farms  and  the  business.  She  possessed  superior 
business  qualifications  and  energy,  paid  off  all 
indebtedness  and  carried  on  the  work  of  im- 
provement, thus  greatly  enhancing  the  value 
of  his  property.  She  was  well  known  through- 
out Clinton  and  adjoining  counties  for  her  ex- 
cellent business  ability  as  well  as  for  her  many 
womanly  qualities  that  endeared  her  to  all  who 
knew  her. 

Epson  Parker  was  brought  to  Michigan 
during  his  infancy  and  was  reared  upon  the 
old  homestead  in  Victor  township,  being  the 
eldest  son  of  the  family.  He  assisted  his  father 
to  clear  and  improve  the  farm  and  remained 
under  the  parental  roof  until  he  had  attained 
his  majority.  He  early  became  familiar  with 
the  arduous  task  of  developing  new  land  so 
that  he  thoroughly  understood  what  he  was  un- 
dertaking when  he  began  to  clear  and  cultivate 
a  farm  of  his  own.  He  commenced  with  one 
hundred  and  twenty  acres  situated  in  the  midst 
of  a  large  forest  tract  and  the  sound  of  the 
woodman's  ax  soon  indicated  that  the  monarchs 
of  the  forest  were  falling  before  his  sturdy 
strokes.  Thus  acre  after  acre  was  cleared  and 
when  the  brush  had  been  burned  and  the  stumps 
taken  out  he  plowed  his  land  and  fenced  the 
fields,  thus  opening  up  an  excellent  farm.  He 
began  life  there  in  a  small  frame  house  but  as 
the  years  passed  by  and  prosperity  attended  his 
efforts  he  built  a  large,  commodious  and  at- 
tractive residence.  He  also  built  two  good 
barns  on  the  place  and  not  only  planted  orchards 
but  also  set  out  shade  and  ornamental  trees. 


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MRS.  EPSON  PARKER. 


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He  bought  and  had  at  one  time  over  three  hun- 
dred acres  of  land  but  has  since  given  some  of 
this  to  his  children  although  he  still  retains  the 
ownership  of  one  hundred  and  eighty  acres.  In 
connection  with  general  farming  he  has  car- 
ried on  stock-raising,  making  a  specialty  of  the 
breeding  of  Percheron  horses  for  thirty  years. 
He  is  well  known  as  a  dealer  in  this  kind  of 
stock  throughout  his  part  of  the  state  and  has 
owned  many  fine  animals  which  he  has  sold  for 
good  prices. 

In  Victor  township,  on  the  24th  of  January, 
1859,  occurred  the  marriage  of  Epson  Parker 
and  Miss  Julia  A.  Cotes,  a  native  of  the  state 
of  New  York  and  a  daughter  of  David  S. 
Cotes,  who  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  of 
Clinton  county.  Mrs.  Parker  came  to  Michi- 
gan with  her  parents  when  a  child  and  was 
reared  and  educated  in  Clinton  county.  Seven 
children  have  been  born  of  this  marriage,  the 
eldest  being  Rev.  Ai.  W.  Parker,  who  is  a 
minister  of  the  United  Brethren  church,  now 
located  at  Charlotte,  Michigan.  Jesse  F.  and 
Emery  L.  ar>e  following  farming  in  Victor 
township.  Emma  is  the  wife  of  John  Kemp, 
an  agriculturist  of  the  same  township.  Nellie 
is  the  wife  of  Milo  J.  Crane,  a  farmer  of  Vic- 
tor township,  and  J.  D.  is  likewise  a  farmer  of 
Victor  township.  The  sons  and  son-in-law  all 
own  good  and  well  equipped  farms.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Parker  lost  their  youngest  child,  R.  D. 
Parker,  who  died  at  the  age  of  eight  months. 

Politically  Mr.  Parker  has  been  a  lifelong 
republican,  casting  his  first  presidential  ballot 
for  John  C.  Fremont  in  1856.  He  has  voted 
for  each  nominee  of  the  party  and  is  in  thor- 
ough sympathy  with  its  principles  but  has  never 
cared  for  or  desired  office  for  himself.  He  was, 
however,  elected  and  served  as  commissioner 
of  highways,  filling  the  office  for  a  number  of 
years,  and  for  some  years  he  was  a  member  of 
the  school  board,  the  cause  of  education  find- 
ing in  him  a  warm  and  helpful  friend.  He  is 
regarded  as  the  oldest  resident  of  Clinton 
county  in  years  of  continuous  connection  with 
this  section  of  the  state  for  his  home  has  been 
in  Victor  township  for  sixty-eight  years.  Great 
changes  have  occurred  and  he  has  witnessed 
18 


the  wonderful  transformation  and  growth  of 
this  section  of  the  state  until  the  county  to-day 
bears  a  little  resemblance  to  the  district  to 
which  he  was  brought  in  his  infancy.  Where 
are  now  seen  waving  fields  of  grain  once  stood 
the  native  forest  and  along  other  lines  of  im- 
provement progress  has  been  carried  forward 
until  the  residents  of  Clinton  county  have  every 
reason  to  be  proud  of  her  advantages,  for  it 
has  become  inhabited  by  a  prosperous  people 
who  have  secured  to  themselves  all  the  ad- 
vantages of  the  older  east.  Epson  Parker  as  a 
pioneer  citizen  well  deserves  mention  in  this 
volume  and  in  fact  no  history  of  this  county 
would  be  complete  without  the  record  of  his 
life. 


HARRY  D.  SQUAIR,  M.  D. 

Among  the  younger  members  of  the  med- 
ical fraternity  in  St.  Johns  is  Dr.  Harry  D. 
Squair,  who  was  born  in  Bowmanville,  On- 
tario, on  the  7th  of  March,  1874,  his  parents 
being  Francis  M.  and  Delilah  (Giffon)  Squair, 
who  were  likewise  natives  of  Ontario,  whence 
they  came  to  St.  Johns  in  1882.  The  father 
was  for  a  number  of  years  active  in  commer- 
cial circles  here,  conducting  a  mercantile  en- 
terprise, but  is  now  retired.  He  is  descended 
from  Scotch  ancestry,  while  the  Giffons  were 
originally  of  German  descent,  representatives 
of  the  name  emigrating  from  the  fatherland  to 
Canada.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Squair  have  had  one 
daughter,  Minnie,  now  the  wife  of  Fred  E. 
Swain,  of  Bingham  township,  Clinton  county. 

Dr.  Squair,  the  only  son,  was  a  student  in 
the  public  and  high  schools  of  St.  Johns  prior  to 
his  preparation  for  the  profession  which  he 
chose  as  a  life  work.  He  pursued  his  medical 
course  in  the  Michigan  College  of  Medicine 
and  Surgery  at  Detroit,  in  which  he  was  grad- 
uated with  the  class  of  1897,  and  the  same 
year  he  located  for  practice  in  this  city,  where 
he  has  since  remained.  That  he  has  retained 
his  residence  here  for  eight  years  is  an  indica- 
tion that  he  has  enjoyed  a  paying  business. 
He  was  elected  health  officer  of  St.  Johns  in 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


1898  and  yet  continues  in  that  office,  while  in 
his  private  practice  he  is  meeting  with  merited 
success. 

Dr.  Squair  exercises  his  right  of  franchise 
in  support  of  the  men  and  measures  of  the 
republican  party  and  is  a  valued  representa- 
tive of  various  civic  societies,  including  the 
Knights  of  Pythias  and  Masonic  fraternities, 
the  Maccabees  tent  and  the  Modern  Wood- 
men camp,  all  of  St.  Johns.  He  was  happily 
married  October  10,  1900,  to  Miss  Marie  Ol- 
cott,  a  daughter  of  the  late  Charles  Olcott,  of 
Port  Henry,  New  York,  who  prior  to  her 
marriage  was  a  capable  teacher  in  the  public 
schools  of  St.  Johns,  her  native  culture  and  re- 
finement entitling  her  to  the  desirable  position 
which  is  accorded  her  in  social  circles  of  this 
city. 


WILLIAM  KEMP. 


William  Kemp,  living  on  section  18,  Leba- 
non township,  is  a  well  known  representative 
of  agricultural  interests  in  this  part  of  the 
state.  His  farm  work  makes  heavy  demands 
upon  his  time  and  his  business  ability  is  dem- 
onstrated by  the  success  which  attends  him  in 
the  operation  of  his  home  farm  of  one  hun- 
dred and  one  acres  and  also  in  the  cultiva- 
tion of  another  farm  of  eighty  acres  on 
section  5,  Lebanon  township.  Born  in  Ross 
township,  Kalamazoo  county,  Michigan,  on  the 
18th  of  February,  1844,  he  is  a  son  of  Alfred 
Kemp,  a  native  of  England.  The  paternal 
grandfather,  George  Kemp,  emigrated  with 
his  family  to  the  new  world  and  settled  at  Gen- 
esee Flats  in  the  state  of  New  York.  The  son 
Alfred  was  then  a  lad  of  thirteen  years  and  he 
was  reared  in  Genesee  county,  where  he  re- 
mained until  he  came  to  Michigan,  settling  in 
Kalamazoo  county.  He  entered  and  traded 
for  several  sections  of  land  which  he  cleared 
and  transformed  into  a  good  farm  and  after- 
ward gave  eighty  acres  of  land  to  each  of  his 
sons.  He  was  married  in  Kalamazoo  county 
to  Miss  Mary  Jones,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania, 


who  was  reared  in  Michigan.  Mr.  Kemp  later 
sold  his  property  there  and  removed  to  Clinton 
county,  where  he  purchased  a  place  on  which 
was  a  small  house  but  few  other  improve- 
ments. He  began  to  clear  and  develop  that 
farm  and  carried  on  agricultural  pursuits  for  a 
number  of  years,  but  eventually  removed  to 
Greenville,  where  his  last  days  were  passed.  He 
died  there  about  1900.  His  wife  still  survives 
him  and  yet  resides  in  Greenville.  In  their 
family  were  four  sons  and  four  daughters,  of 
whom  four  are  yet  living,  namely :  William,  of 
this  review;  Frederick,  a  resident  of  Brown 
county,  South  Dakota;  Oliver,  who  makes  his 
home  in  Chicago;  and  Ernest,  who  is  living 
in  Greenville,  Michigan. 

No  event  of  special  importance  occurred  to 
vary  the  routine  of  farm  life  for  William 
Kemp  in  his  boyhood  days.  His  youth  was 
passed  in  Clinton  and  Kalamazoo  counties  and 
he  aided  in  clearing  and  developing  the  farm 
whereon  he  now  resides.  Much  arduous  toil 
was  required  to  accomplish  the  task  and  he 
gained  therefrom  the  experience  that  enables 
him  now  to  carefully  conduct  his  farming  in- 
terests and  gain  thereby  the  prosperity  which 
is  the  goal  of  all  business  endeavor.  In  De- 
cember, 1862,  he  joined  the  Seventh  Michigan 
Cavalry  as  a  private  and  participated  in  about 
thirty  battles  of  the  Civil  war,  including  the 
engagements  at  Cedar  Creek,  Cold  Harbor, 
Winchester  and  the  Wilderness.  He  sustained 
some  slight  wounds  and  was  ill  in  the  hospital 
for  a  short  time.  He  served  until  after  the 
close  of  the  war  and  then  went  across  the 
plains  to  aid  in  the  subjugation  of  the  Indians. 
There  in  the  far  west  the  troops  were  mus- 
tered out  and  no  transportation  was  furnished 
them,  although  they  were  fifteen  hundred  miles 
from  home.  Mr.  Kemp  then  returned  to 
Jackson,  Michigan,  and  was  honorably  dis- 
charged in  the  fall  of  1865. 

On  reaching  home  he  took  up  the  work  of 
the  farm  and  later  purchased  a  tract  of  land  in 
Kalamazoo  county,  where  he  carried  on  gen- 
eral agricultural  pursuits  for  a  few  years.  He 
then  sold  out  and  located  on  the  old  home- 
stead, where  he  has  erected  a  good  residence 
and  granary.    He  has  also  fenced  the  place  and 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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carried  on  the  work  of  improving  his  farm 
along  modern  lines  until  he  now  has  a  well  de- 
veloped and  valuable  property. 

On  the  22d  of  September,  1874,  in  Lebanon 
township,  Mr.  Kemp  was  united  in  marriage 
to  Miss  Clara  E.  Tyler,  who  was  born  and 
reared  in  New  York.  In  the  family  were  four 
children,  but  two  died  of  diphtheria,  William 
J.  and  Grace,  aged  nine  and  seven  years  re- 
spectively. They  passed  away  within  a  few 
days  of  each  other.  Mary  E.,  the  eldest  mem- 
ber of  the  family,  is  now  the  wife  of  Frederick 
Brayton,  of  Ionia  county,  Michigan,  and 
Ernest  is  assisting  in  carrying  on  the  home 
farm. 

Politically  Mr.  Kemp  has  been  a  lifelong 
republican,  never  faltering  in  his  allegiance  to 
the  party  since  casting  his  first  presidential 
ballot  for  Abraham  Lincoln  while  serving  in 
the  Union  army.  He  is  a  Master  Mason  of 
Hubbardston  lodge  and  also  belongs  to  the 
Grand  Army  Post  at  that  place,  while  his  wife 
holds  membership  in  the  Woman's  Relief 
Corps  there.  His  entire  life  has  been  passed 
in  Michigan  and  for  nearly  fifty  years  he  has 
lived  in  Clinton  county,  so  that  he  is  one  of  the 
early  settlers  as  well  as  one  of  the  honored  few 
remaining  veterans  of  the  Civil  war.  A  man 
of  integrity  and  worth  he  enjoys  the  good  will 
and  confidence  of  those  who  know  him  and  the 
circle  of  his  friends  has  constantly  broadened 
as  the  circle  of  his  acquaintance  has  been  in- 
creased. 


JOHN  B.  DODGE,  M.  D. 

Dr.  John  B.  Dodge,  practicing  along  mod- 
ern scientific  lines  in  St.  Johns,  was  born  in 
Windsor,  Dane  county,  Wisconsin,  March  22, 
1858,  a  son  of  Nathan  and  Mary  (Carpenter) 
Dodge,  the  former  a  native  of  New  York  and 
the  latter  of  Ohio.  After  their  marriage  they 
settled  in  Wisconsin,  where  the  father,  who 
was  a  mechanic,  carried  on  business  for  a  time 
but  removed  to  Ohio  when  the  Doctor  was 
eight  years  of  age  and  was  engaged  in  business 
at  Put-in-Bay  until  his  death,  which  occurred 


in  October,  1869,  when  he  was  forty-seven 
years  of  age.  His  widow,  long  surviving  him, 
departed  this  life  April  26,  1901.  In  their 
family  were  eight  children,  of  whom  the  fol- 
lowing are  living:  Ellen,  the  widow  of  Leroy 
Webster  and  now  a  practicing  physician  at 
Put-in-Bay,  Ohio;  Jennie,  the  wife  of  James 
H.  Crowley,  of  St.  Louis,  Missouri;  Louis  C, 
who  is  living  at  Middle  Bass  Island,  Ohio; 
Elliott  J.,  who  is  a  captain  on  the  Great  Lakes 
and  resides  at  Put-in-Bay;  Emma,  the  wife  of 
Louis  M.  Edmeston,  of  Los  Angeles,  Califor- 
nia, and  John  B.  Of  those  who  are  deceased 
Edith  L.,  who  was  the  youngest  of  the  family, 
died  in  Los  Angeles,  California,  and  Henry 
died  at  the  age  of  seven  years,  while  the  others 
died  in  infancy. 

Dr.  Dodge  acquired  his  early  education  in 
the  public  schools  of  Put-in-Bay  and  afterward 
attended  the  high  school  at  Olmstead  Falls, 
Ohio.  He  then  pursued  a  course  in  Oberlin 
College,  and  his  professional  training  was  re- 
ceived in  the  University  of  Michigan,  which 
he  entered  in  1877,  being  graduated  from  the 
homeopathic  medical  department  in  the  class 
of  1880.  He  entered  upon  practice  in  Bascom, 
Ohio,  where  he  remained  for  a  year  and  a  half, 
after  which  he  spent  nine  years  in  Mason, 
Michigan.  He  sold  his  practice  there  in  1889, 
after  which  he  pursued  a  post-graduate  course 
in  the  Hahnemann  Medical  College,  of  Chi- 
cago, and  also  Brandt's  course  in  artificial  sur- 
gery. Seeking  a  location  in  the  west  he  settled 
at  Omaha,  Nebraska,  where  he  practiced  for  a 
year,  and  in  1892  returned  to  Michigan  and 
has  since  been  a  member  of  the  medical  fra- 
ternity at  St.  Johns,  with  a  constantly  growing 
business,  which  is  indicative  of  the  confidence 
and  trust  reposed  in  his  professional  ability  by 
the  general  public.  He  has  been  both  county 
physician  and  health  officer  for  St.  Johns  and 
is  a  member  of  the  Clinton  County  Medical  So- 
ciety. 

Dr.  Dodge  belongs  to  the  Knights  of 
Pythias  fraternity,  the  Royal  Arcanum  and 
the  Foresters.  He  was  married  in  August, 
1892,  to  Miss  Marion  E,  Hodges,  a  daughter 
of  Hiram  H.  Hodges,  of  Ingham  county,  and 

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PAST   AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


a  lady  of  superior  culture  and  refinement,  who 
is  now  a  teacher  of  piano,  voice  culture  and 
harmony.  She  was  a  pupil  of  Professor  C.  B. 
Sheffler,  of  Albion  College,  also  studied  with  a 
pupil  of  Madame  Marchesi,  of  Paris,  and  is  a 
graduate  of  the  Chicago  Musical  College.  She 
teaches  with  marked  success  Dr.  Mason's  new 
system  of  "touch  and  technic"  for  piano  and 
Madame  Marchesi's  method  for  voice.  She 
has  taught  for  about  seventeen  years  and  is  a 
most  competent  instructor  of  the  art. 


FREDERICK  W.  AINSLIE. 

Frederick  W.  Ainslie  is  a  self-made  man, 
whose  success  has  come  entirely  through  his 
own  labors,  his  persistency  of  purpose  and 
sound  business  judgment.  He  is  numbered 
among  Michigan's  native  sons,  his  birth  hav- 
ing occurred  in  Oakland  county,  on  the  29th 
of  January,  1852.  The  family  is  of  English 
lineage,  the  grandfather,  came  direct  from 
England  to  the  new  world,  taking  up  his  abode 
in  the  state  of  New  York.  There  his  son, 
Hiram  Ainslie,  was  born,  and  after  his  mar- 
riage to  Miss  Mary  Lamb  he  came  to  Michi- 
gan. His  wife  was  also  a  native  of  the  Em- 
pire state  and  she,  too,  was  of  English  descent. 
They  settled  in  Oakland  county,  where  they 
resided  until  1863,  when  they  came  to  Clinton 
county,  taking  up  their  abode  on  section  16, 
Watertown  township.  They  removed  to  the 
county  line  about  twenty-eight  years  ago  and 
later  located  on  section  29,  Watertown  town- 
ship, where  they  spent  their  remaining  days, 
the  father  passing  away  in  1902,  at  the  very 
advanced  age  of  eighty-three  years,  while  his 
wife  died  in  1898,  at  the  age  of  seventy-nine 
years.  They  w^ere  the  parents  of  two  sons 
and  two  daughters :  Fernando,  living  in  Har- 
bor Springs,  Michigan ;  Fred  W. ;  Helen,  the 
wife  of  John  C.  Clark,  of  Grand  Ledge,  Mich- 
igan ;  and  Emma,  the  wife  of  Lawrence  Smith, 
of  Antrim  county,  Michigan. 

Frederick  W.  Ainslie  pursued  a  district- 
school  education  and  afterward  attended  the 


Lansing  Business  College.  He  has  devoted 
his  entire  life  to  farming  with  the  exception 
of  one  term  spent  as  a  teacher.  He  then  began 
business  for  himself  and  soon  had  accumulated 
a  capital  of  four  hundred  and  fifty  dollars.  He 
was  employed  in  various  ways  until  he  pur- 
chased a  interest  in  a  farm  on  section  32, 
Watertown  township.  Later  he  sold  out  there 
and  bought  his  present  farm  on  section  29, 
Watertown  township,  in  1876.  There  were 
patches  of  timber  on  the  place  but  these  have 
been  cleared  away  and  his  land  has  been  trans- 
formed into  highly  cultivated  fields.  In  1894 
he  erected  a  good  barn  and  in  1903  built  a  fine 
residence.  This  is  indeed  a  model  home,  one 
of  the  best  in  the  township.  He  has  improved 
his  land  and  although  he  had  nothing  but  a 
yoke  of  cattle  and  a  small  outfit  when  he  set- 
tled upon  this  place  he  has  to-day  a  well 
equipped  and  well  stocked  farm,  supplied  with 
all  modern  conveniences.  The  fields  return 
good  harvests  for  the  care  and  labor  he  be- 
stows upon  them  and  he  is  now  enjoying  a 
gratifying  measure  of  prosperity. 

In  1875  Mr.  Ainslie  was  married  to  Miss 
May  Boylan,  a  daughter  of  William  Boylan, 
of  Watertown  township.  Her  mother  bore  the 
maiden  name  of  Fannie  Fitzsimmons.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Ainslie  now  have  a  son  and  daugh- 
ter, Claude  and  Mabel,  both  at  home.  In  poli- 
tics he  is  a  republican  and  is  now  serving  for 
the  fourth  term  as  highway  commissioner.  He 
has  been  moderator  for  nine  years  of  Star 
school  district,  No.  5,  in  Watertown  township 
and  is  interested  in  all  that  pertains  to  public 
progress  and  improvement  in  his  locality,  giv- 
ing loyal  support  to  every  measure  that  has 
as  its  basis  the  benefit  of  township  or  county. 


CHARLES  L.  AVERY. 

Charles  L.  Avery,  who  carries  on  farming 
operations  on  section  36,  Westphalia  township, 
in  a  profitable,  progressive  and  practical  man- 
ner, is  a  native  of  Lucas  county,  Iowa,  his  natal 
day  being  June   5,    1854.     His  parents  were 


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FREDERICK  W.  AINSLIE. 


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Sumner  and  Harriet  (Holbrook)  Avery,  the 
former  a  native  of  Massachusetts  and  the  lat- 
ter of  Vermont.  The  father  was  a  farmer  by 
occupation  and  when  thirty  years  of  age  left 
the  old  Bay  state  and  removed  to  Lorain 
county,  Ohio,  whence  in  1852  he  went  to  Iowa. 
The  year  1865  witnessed  his  arrival  in  Clinton 
county,  Michigan,  and,  taking  up  his  abode  in 
Eagle  township,  he  there  made  his  home  until 
his  death,  which  occurred  in  1898,  when  he 
reached  the  venerable  age  of  eighty-four  years. 
In  politics  he  was  a  stanch  republican  and 
voted  for  Abraham  Lincoln.  He  was  promi- 
nent, active  and  helpful  in  church  work,  hold- 
ing membership  in  the  Free  Methodist  denom- 
ination, and  he  lived  an  honorable,  upright  life. 
His  wife  still  survives  him  at  the  age  of  sev- 
enty-eight years.  In  their  family  were  ten 
children,  of  whom  the  following  are  still  liv- 
ing: F.  W,  who  resides  in  Eagle  township; 
Jane,  the  wife  of  A.  F.  Williams,  of  Westpha- 
lia township;  Charles  L.,  of  this  review- 
Aaron,  a  resident  of  Lansing,  Michigan ;  Sum- 
ner F.,  an  agriculturist  of  Eagle  township; 
Ada,  the  wife  of  Edgar  Wilkins,  of  Eagle 
township,  and  Lora,  who  completes  the  family. 
Those  who  have  departed  this  life  are  Cedeiia, 
Harriet  and  Emma. 

In  the  district  schools  Charles  L.  Avery 
mastered  the  branches  of  learning  which 
equipped  him  for  life's  practical  and  responsi- 
ble duties,  and  upon  the  home  farm  remained 
until  twenty-one  years  of  age,  when,  starting  out 
in  life  on  his  own  account,  he  returned  to  Iowa, 
where  he  remained  for  a  year  and  a  half.  He 
then  came  again  to  Michigan  and  for  seven  years 
worked  at  the  carpenter's  trade,  after  which  he 
turned  his  attention  to  farming,  locating  on  his 
present  farm  on  section  36,  Westphalia  town- 
ship, in  1884.  Here  he  has  one  hundred  and 
sixty  acres  of  land,  but  he  began  with  only 
thirty-nine  acres.  He  built  a  comfortable 
house  in  1901  and  a  good  modern  barn,  with 
cement  basement,  in  1895,  and  altogether  has 
a  well  improved  and  valuable  farm. 

In  1882  Mr.  Avery  was  married  to  Miss  Ida 
M.  Howe,  a  daughter  of  Daniel  and  Catherine 
Howe,   of  New  York.     They   now  have  six 


children:  Ethel  C,  Earl  D.,   Bert  H.,   Lena, 
Hazel  and  Minerva. 

When  twenty-one  years  of  age  Mr.  Avery 
started  out  in  life  on  his  own  account  with  a 
capital  of  only  fifty  cents  and  all  that  he  has 
since  acquired  has  come  as  the  reward  of  his 
own  labor  and  diligence.  He  is  ambitious  and 
enterprising,  forms  his  plans  readily  and  is  de- 
termined in  their  execution  and  these  com- 
mendable traits  constitute  the  basis  of  his 
success.  He  came  into  possession  of  land  cov- 
ered with  brush  and  has  converted  it  into  a 
good  farm.  He  is  an  independent  voter  and 
has  filled  some  school  offices  but  is  without  po- 
litical aspiration,  preferring  to  give  his  undi- 
vided attention  to  his  business  interests,  which, 
capably  managed,  have  brought  to  him  a  com- 
fortable competence. 


GEORGE  W.  FOX. 


George  W.  Fox  is  the  owner  of  three  well 
improved  farms  near  Maple  Rapids,  compris- 
ing seven  hundred  acres,  lying  in  Clinton  and 
Gratiot  counties.  Coming  to  Michigan  from 
the  Empire  state,  he  was  born  in  Ontario 
county,  New  York,  January  14,  1842,  spent 
the  days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth  there  and 
was  educated  in  the  common  schools.  Mr. 
Fox  came  to  Michigan  in  i860,  going 
first  to  Kent  county,  where  he  operated  a  farm 
on  the  shares.  For  seven  years  he  was  identi- 
fied with  agricultural  interests  there  but  in  the 
meantime  he  responded  to  the  country's  call 
for  aid,  enlisting  December  14,  1861,  as  a 
member  of  Company  C,  Thirteenth  Michigan 
Infantry,  for  three  years'  service.  On  Septem- 
ber 12,  1862,  however,  he  was  discharged  on 
account  of  physical  disability.  He  had  par- 
ticipated in  the  battle  of  Shiloh  and  in  several 
skirmishes  and  was  afterward  in  the  hospital 
at  Nashville,  Tennessee,  being  ill  with  typhoid 
fever.  He  was  then  discharged  and  returned 
to  Kent  county,  Michigan,  where  he  resided 
until  1867,  when  he  came  to  Clinton  county 
and  bought  a  farm  of  eighty  acres.     This  he 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


improved  and  later  he  sold  the  property,  set- 
tling in  Gratiot  county,  where  he  engaged  in 
the  stock  business.  He  began  to  buy  and  ship 
stock  and  continued  for  four  years  in  that  busi- 
ness. On  the  expiration  of  that  period  he  pur- 
chased a  farm  of  two  hundred  and  forty  acres 
in  Gratiot  county,  where  he  carried  on  general 
agricultural  pursuits  for  four  years,  when  he 
sold  the  property  for  ten  thousand  dollars.  He 
next  bought  a  farm  in  Clinton  county  and  in 
1883  took  up  his  abode  here. 

About  this  time  Mr.  Fox  was  united  in  mar- 
riage to  Mrs.  Laura  M.  Benedict,  a  widow,  who 
was  born  in  Ohio  but  was  reared  in  Michigan 
and  engaged  in  teaching  school  for  several 
years  in  this  state.  She  first  married  George 
Benedict,  who  was  a  farmer  and  died  in  this 
county  in  1880.  After  their  marriage  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Fox  located  on  the  Benedict  farm  and  in 
connection  with  the  tilling  of  the  soil  he  en- 
gaged in  stock  raising,  making  a  specialty  of 
sheep.  He  afterwards  bought  more  land  from 
time  to  time  and  now  owns  three  farms,  two 
lying  in  Clinton  county  and  one  in  Gratiot 
county.  All  are  well  improved  and  valuable 
properties.  He  likewise  has  a  good  residence 
in  Maple  Rapids,  where  he  has  resided  for 
fifteen  years.  His  holdings  indicate  his  life  of 
enterprise,  careful  management  and  keen  busi- 
ness discernment.  He  has  carefully  conducted 
his  farming  and  stock-raising  interests  as  the 
years  have  gone  by  and  to-day  is  one  of  the 
substantial  citizens  of  the  county  with  large 
and  valuable  land  holdings. 

On  the  23d  of  April,  1894,  Mr.  Fox  was 
called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of  his  wife.  By 
her  former  marriage  she  had  one  son,  Charles 
L.  Benedict,  who  owns  and  operates  the  old 
Benedict  farm.  Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Fox  was 
born  a  daughter,  Vera,  who  is  now  acting  as 
her  father's  housekeeper. 

Politically  Mr.  Fox  is  a  stalwart  republican 
and  while  never  a  politician  in  the  sense  of 
office  seeking  he  has  always  kept  well  informed 
on  the  questions  and  issues  of  the  day.  He  be- 
longs to  the  Masonic  fraternity  at  Maple 
Rapids  and  is  a  man  of  genial  disposition  and 
many  excellent  traits  of  character  who  has  won 


the  friendship  of  many  with  whom  he  has 
come  in  contact.  He  has  been  a  resident  of 
Michigan  for  forty-five  years  and  has  been 
identified  with  Clinton  county  as  one  of  its 
successful  business  men  and  prosperous  farm- 
ers. He  has  helped  to  improve  and  develop  a 
number  of  good  farms  in  this  part  of  the  state 
and  has  thus  been  of  material  benefit  to  the 
community  in  its  upbuilding  and  progress. 
What  he  has  accomplished  should  serve  to  in- 
spire and  encourage  others,  showing  the  force 
and  value  of  industry,  enterprise  and  persist- 
ency of  purpose  in  the  active  affairs  of  life. 


LEVI  W.  SIBLEY. 


Levi  W.  Sibley,  living  on  section  33,  Olive 
township,  is  one  of  the  thrifty  and  prosperous 
farmers  and  dairymen,  who  in  his  business  in- 
terests so  conducts  his  efforts  that  gratifying 
financial  results  follow.  To  his  own  labors  his 
success  is  attributable  and  the  proof  of  his  active 
and  enterprising  life  is  found  in  his  well  im- 
proved farm  of  one  hundred  and  forty  acres. 
A  native  of  the  state  of  New  York,  Mr.  Sib- 
ley was  born  in  Clinton  county,  March  18,  1841. 
His  father,  Luther  E.  Sibley,  was  also  a  native 
of  that  county,  born  in  18 16  and  his  father 
was  John  Sibley,  whose  birth  occurred  in  Mas- 
sachusetts. The  Sibley  family  is  of  English 
lineage  and  was  founded  in  Massachusetts  at 
an  early  day.  John  Sibley  removed  from  that 
state  to  New  York,  settling  in  Clinton  county, 
where  Luther  Sibley  was  born  and  reared.  The 
latter  was  married  there  to  Emeline  Eells,  a 
native  of  Clinton  county,  New  York,  and  a 
daughter  of  John  Eells,  who  was  born  in  the 
Green  Mountain  state  and  was  of  English 
lineage.  Luther  Sibley  was  a  farmer  of  Clinton 
county,  rearing  his  family  there  and  making 
his  home  in  that  locality  up  to  the  time  of  his 
death,  which  occurred  about  1880.  He  was 
twice  married,  his  first  wife  passing  away  in 
•1859,  after  which  he  married  again.  There 
were  four  sons  and  two  daughters  of  the  first 
union,  all  of  whom  reached  mature  years,  the 


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L.  W.  SIBLEY. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


291 


sons  being  Luther,  who  was  a  soldier  of  the 
Second  New  York  Cavalry  and  died  in  Louisi- 
ana while  upon  the  Red  river  expedition  in 
1864;  Franklyn  and  Randall,  who  are  residents 
of  St.  Lawrence  county,  New  York;  and 
Levi  W. 

Levi  W.  Sibley  was  reared  to  manhood  in 
the  county  of  his  nativity  and  enlisted  in  March, 
1862,  as  a  defender  of  the  Union  cause  in  the 
Civil  war,  being  assigned  to  duty  with  Com- 
pany   C,    Ninety-sixth    New    York    Volunteer 
Infantry.   With  his   command  he  went   south, 
the  regiment  being  attached  to  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac  under  General  George  B.  McClellan. 
Mr.  Sibley  participated  in  the  siege  of  York- 
town  and  in  the  battles  of  Williamsburg  and 
Fair  Oaks.     He  was  there  taken  a  prisoner  and 
was   incarcerated   in   Libby   prison   for  a    few 
days,   after   which  he  was   transferred  to   the 
prison  at  Salisbury,  North  Carolina,  where  he 
remained  for  sometime.     Later  he  was  taken  to 
Belle  Isle  and  received  his  parole  there.     Going 
to  Annapolis,  Maryland,  he  was  in  the  hospital 
camp   until   exchanged,   when   he   rejoined  his 
regiment  at  Plymouth,  North  Carolina.     Sub- 
sequent to  this  time  he  re-enlisted  and  returned 
home  on   a   veteran   furlough   of   thirty   days. 
When  that  time  had  expired  he   rejoined  his 
command  at  Plattsburg,  New  York,  and  served 
until  the  close  of  the  war.     He  was  wounded 
in  the  thigh  at  Chapin's  farm  near  Fort  Har- 
rison by  a  gunshot  and  was  in  the  hospital  until 
the  close  of  hostilities,  after  which  he  was  hon- 
orably discharged  in  New  York  harbor  in  Feb- 
ruary,  1866. 

Mr.  Sibley  then  spent  a  short  time  in  recu- 
perating his  health,  which  had  become  much  im- 
paired because  of  the  rigors  and  hardships  of 
war.  Later  he  came  west  to  Michigan  and 
joined  some  friends  in  Clinton  county.  In  the 
fall  of  1866  he  bought  an  eighty-acre  tract  of 
land,  where  he  now  resides  and  upon  it  were 
some  improvements.  The  following  year  he 
began  its  further  cultivation  and  to-day  has  a 
valuable  property.  He  has  since  built  a  good 
neat  residence  and  two  barns.  He  bought  more 
land  and  now  owns  one  hundred  and  forty 
acres   constituting   a   valuable   farm,   which   is 


equipped  with  all  modern  accessories.  He  uses 
the  latest  improved  machinery  in  carrying  on 
the  farm  work  and  everything  about  his  place 
is  in  excellent  condition. 

Levi  Sibley  was  united  in  marriage  in  Lan- 
sing, in  May,  1867,  to  Miss  Alzina  Carr,  a  na- 
tive of  Clinton  county,  New  York,  who  came 
west  when  a  child  of  nine  years.  Her  father. 
John  B.  Carr,  bringing  his  family  to  Michigan, 
cast  in  his  lot  with  the  early  settlers  of  Ingham 
county.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sibley  have  become  the 
parents  of  seven  children :  Emeline  and  Sadie, 
who  are  carrying  on  a  dressmaking  establish- 
ment in  Lansing;  Luther  W.,  who  is  a  promi- 
nent businss  man  of  Dewitt;  Rutherford,  who 
assists  in  the  operation  of  the  home  farm;  Levi 
H.,  who  is  a  mail  agent  on  the  rural  route; 
Stella,  who  is  with  her  sisters  in  Lansing:  and 
Russell  A.,  at  home.  They  also  lost  five  chil- 
dren in  early  youth. 

Politically  Mr.  Sibley  is  a  stanch  republican, 
never  faltering  in  his  support  of  the  men  and 
measures  of  the  party,  but  the  honors  and  emol- 
uments of  office  have  had  no  attraction  for  him. 
He  was  elected,  however,  and  served  for  one 
or  more  terms  as  highway  commissioner.  Forty 
years  have  passed  since  he  took  up  his  abode 
on  the  farm  which  is  now  his  home.  He  has 
witnessed  much  of  the  growth  and  development 
of  this  part  of  the  state  and  has  helped  to  make 
Clinton  county  what  it  is  to-day.  He  is  one  of 
the  few  survivors  of  the  war  of  the  Rebellion 
and  deserves  the  praise  which  is  ever  due  the 
loyal  soldier  who  risks  his  life  in  defense  of  a 
principle  or  a  cause. 


O.  D.  CASTERLINE. 

O.  D.  Casterline,  a  representative  of  farm- 
ing interests  living  on  section  27,  Essex  town- 
ship, was  born  in  Tompkins  county,  New 
York,  July  13,  1853.  He  is  a  son  of  A.  L. 
Casterline,  of  whom  mention  is  made  in  con- 
nection with  the  sketch  of  Warren  Casterline 
on  another  page  of  this  work.  When  a  lad  of 
only  four  years  the  subect  of  this  review  came 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


with  his  parents  to  Clinton  county  and  was 
reared   in   Dewitt   township,    living   with   his 
father  until  he  had  attained  his  majority,  his 
education  being  acquired  in  the  public  schools. 
He  was  married  in  the  city  of  Lansing  on  the 
nth  of  February,  1876,  to  Miss  Mary  D.  Web- 
ster, a  daughter  of  E.  D.  Webster,  of  Essex 
township.     She  was  born  in  Essex  township 
and  spent  her  girlhood  days  in  Clinton  county. 
Following  their  marriage  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cas- 
terline    removed    to    Texas,    settling   in    Ellis 
county  in  March,  1876,  but  after  three  months 
spent  in  the  Lone  Star  state  they  returned  to 
Michigan  and  took  up  their  abode  in  Essex 
township,   Clinton  county.      Mr.   Casterline  is 
a  mason  by  trade,  having  learned  the  business 
under  the  direction  of  his  father,  and  subse- 
quent to  his  return  to  the  north  he  became  iden- 
tified with  building  operations.     He  erected  a 
house    in    Maple    Rapids    and    locating   there 
made  his  home  in  the  village  for  several  years. 
Later,    however,    he     removed     to     a     farm, 
whereon   he   carried   on   general    agricultural 
pursuits  until  1881.     In  that  year  he  took  up 
his  abode  at  his  present  place  of  residence  and 
began  the  development  of  his  fields.     He  now 
owns  two  farms  adjoining,  both  equipped  with 
good  buildings  and  well   improved  according 
to  the  modern  standard  of  agricultural  devel- 
opment.    He  gives  his  time  and  attention  to 
both  places  and  in  connection  with  the  raising 
of  cereals  is   also  engaged   in  the  raising  of 
good  grades  of  stock.     He  rented  his  place  out 
for  five  years  but  now  has  charge  of  the  farms 
and  is  annually  gathering  therefrom  good  har- 
vests.    His  wife  inherited  a  part  of  her  father's 
estate. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Casterline  has  been  born 
one  child,  Oral  E.,  the  wife  of  John  F.  Parr,  of 
St.  Johns,  by  whom  she  has  a  daughter,  Alice 
Elizabeth  Parr.  Mr.  Casterline  belongs  to  the 
Masonic  fraternity  and  was  initiated  into  the 
craft  at  Dewitt.  He  and  his  wife  hold  mem- 
bership in  the  Order  of  the  Eastern  Star  and 
he  gives  his  political  allegiance  to  the  democ- 
racy. He  has  been  a  resident  of  Clinton  county 
from  his  early  youth  to  the  present  time  and 
during  this   long  period  many  changes  have 


been  wrought  as  time  and  man  have  left  their 
impress  upon  the  county.  Where  once  stood 
the  native  forests  are  now  seen  fields  of  waving* 
grain  and  the  county  has  become  thickly  set- 
tled by  a  prosperous  and  contented  people, 
who  have  introduced  all  the  improvements  and 
conveniences  of  the  older  east  and  have  so  util- 
ized its  conditions  as  to  gain  success.  Mr.  Cas- 
terline is  now  classed  with  the  representative 
agriculturists  of  his  community.  He  is  a  man 
of  sterling  character  and  both  he  and  his  wife 
are  greatly  esteemed  throughout  the  commu- 
nity. 


SAMUEL  FOSTER. 


Samuel    Foster,    a    prosperous    farmer    and 
stock-raiser  living  on  section  26,  Victor  town- 
ship, is  among  the  worthy  citizens  that  Eng- 
land has  furnished  to  Clinton  county.     He  was 
born  in  Hampshire  on  the  "merrie  isle/'  May 
2,  1837,  and  was  reared  to  manhood  there  upon 
a  farm.     He  emigrated  to  the  new  world  with 
a  sister,  Ann  Foster,  crossing  the  Atlantic  in 
1853.     They  came  direct  to  Michigan,  settling 
first    in    Ingham    county,    where    Mr.    Foster 
worked  on  a  farm  by  the  year.     He  was  paid 
ninety-five  dollars  for  a  year's  service  and  out 
of  this  sum  managed  to  save  fifty  dollars  per 
year.     He  spent  three  years  there,  after  which 
he   removed  to   Wayne  county,    Michigan,   lo- 
cating in  Plymouth,  where  he  was  again  em- 
ployed as  a  farm  hand  for  eight  years.     While 
residing  there,  however,  he  put  aside  farming 
interests  and  all  personal  considerations  in  order 
that  he  might  espouse  the  cause  of  his  adopted 
country  and  aid  in  the  defense  of  the  Union, 
enlisting  at  Plymouth  in  August,   1862,  as  a 
member  of  Company  C,  Twenty-fourth  Michi- 
gan Infantry.  The  regiment  was  sent  to  Wash- 
ington and  joined  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. 
The  first  engagement  in  which  Mr.  Foster  par- 
ticipated was  at  Fredericksburg  under  General 
Burnside  and  he  was  also  in  the  battle  of  Chan- 
cellorsville  in  the  spring  of  1863.     He  likewise 
participated  in  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  in  the 
battle  of  the  Wilderness,  Spottsylvania  Court- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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house,  Petersburg  and  many  others  of  less  im- 
portance. He  was  taken  prisoner  after  the  fight 
at  Petersburg  and  was  thus  held  for  eight 
months,  being  at  Andersonville,  Florence  and 
Wilmington  prisons.  He  was  then  paroled  and 
later  was  discharged  at  Baltimore,  Maryland, 
in  April,  1865.  Mr.  Foster  is  familiar  with  all 
of  the  depredations  and  hardships  which  are 
meted  out  to  the  soldier.  He  not  only  suffered 
the  difficult  life  on  the  battle-field  but  also  the 
horrors  of  a  southern  prison. 

After  the  close  of  the  war  Mr.  Foster  re- 
turned to  Wayne  county,  Michigan,  and  again 
was  engaged  in  farming  there  for  several  years. 
In  1872  he  removed  to  Clinton  county  and 
bought  forty  acres,  where  he  now  resides. 
Later  he  began  to  farm  this  place  and  he  has 
subsequently  extended  its  boundaries  by  ad- 
ditional purchases  until  he  now  has  one  hun- 
dred and  seventy-three  acres,  on  which  he  has 
built  a  good,  neat  residence,  also  a  substantial 
barn  and  outbuildings.  He  has  planted  small 
fruit,  has  set  out  an  orchard,  has  fenced  the 
place  and  laid  over  a  mile  of  tiling,  so  that  the 
farm  is  well  drained.  In  fact  it  is  equipped 
with  all  modern  improvements  and  accessories, 
and  in  connection  with  the  tilling  of  the  soil 
Mr.  Foster  raises  good  stock,  making  a  spe- 
cialty of  Percheron  horses  for  twenty  years. 
He  sold  one  three-year-old  colt  for  two  hun- 
dred dollars.  In  both  branches  of  his  business 
he  has  prospered  and  he  well  merits  his  suc- 
cess. 

Mr.  Foster  was  married  in  Clinton  county, 
in  April,  1867,  to  Miss  Elmerette  Robinson, 
a  native  of  Livingston  county,  Michigan,  and 
a  daughter  of  Rev.  Robinson,  a  minister  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church.  Mrs.  Foster, 
however,  is  a  member  of  the  Congregational 
church  at  Laingsburg,  while  Mr.  Foster  be- 
longs to  the  Grange  and  to  the  Grand  Army  of 
the  Republic.  Mr.  Foster  began  life  in  the  new 
world  a  poor  young  man  with  no  assistance 
upon  whch  he  might  depend  but  he  readily 
adapted  himself  to  the  conditions  of  the  new 
world  and  found  that  labor  and  enterprise  are 
the  basis  of  all  success  here.  Through  his  persist- 
ent purpose  and  the  assistance  of  his  estimable 
wife  he  has  accumulated  a  good  property.    He 


fought  for  the  land  of  his  adoption  and  has  al- 
ways been  loyal  and  true  to  its  best  interests. 
Wherever  he  is  known  he  is  regarded  as  a  man 
of  sterling  character  and  worth,  and  his  life 
record  is  in  many  respects  worthy  of  emulation, 
showing  as  it  does  what  may  be  accomplished 
through  determined  and  earnest  purpose. 


OLIVER  B.  WALTER. 

Oliver  B.  Walter,  one  of  the  pioneer  manu- 
facturers of  granite  and  marble  works  in 
Clinton  county,  conducting  business  at  St. 
Johns,  is  a  native  of  Oakland  county,  Michi- 
gan, born  March  15,  1856.  His  parents,  John 
J.  and  Mary  A.  (Draper)  Walter,  were  both 
natives  of  the  Empire  state,  and  the  father  fol- 
lowed the  occupation  of  farming  in  New  York 
until  his  removal  to  Michigan  at  an  early  pe- 
riod of  the  development  of  this  state.  He 
served  his  country  in  the  Civil  war  and  is  now 
living  in  Oakland  county,  but  in  1885  was 
called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of  his  wife,  who. 
passed  away  at  the  age  of  fifty  years.  In  their 
family  were  nine  children:  Harriet  M.,  the 
wife  of  Alfred  Cole,  of  Bay  City,  Michigan, 
and  a  graduate  of  the  deaf  and  dumb  institute, 
at  Flint,  Michigan,  her  husband  being  likewise 
deaf  and  dumb ;  Oliver  B. ;  Mary  J.,  the  wife 
of  Robert  Sweet,  of  Orion,  Michigan;  Lillie 
A.,  the  wife  of  James  Morrison,  of  Clarkston, 
Michigan;  Oscar  J.,  a  farmer,  of  Elmira, 
Washington;  Edgar  L.,  of  Oakland  county, 
this  state;  John  J.,  of  Flint,  Michigan;  Lucy 
M.,  the  wife  of  David  Lewis,  of  Owosso, 
Michigan,  and  Honor  B.,  the  wife  of  William 
T.  Beckwith,  of  Durand,  Michigan. 

Oliver  B.  Walter  was  a  public-school  stu- 
dent in  his  boyhood  days  and  upon  the  home 
farm  was  reared,  early  becoming  familiar  with 
the  duties  and  labors  that  fall  to  the  lot  of  the 
agriculturist.  He  continued  farming  until 
twenty-two  years  of  age  and  in  early  manhood 
he  also  taught  in  his  home  district  and  in  the 
western  part  of  the  state,  both  in  Oceana  and 
Newaygo  counties.     He  followed  the  profes- 


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sion  in  the  winter  seasons,  while  in  the  summer 
months  he  worked  at  the  trade  of  stone  and 
marble  cutting  at  Ortonville,  Michigan.  Later 
he  removed  to  Caro,  Tuscola  county,  Michigan, 
where  he  followed  his  trade  for  five  years, 
after  which  he  spent  four  and  a  half  years  in 
Newaygo  county.  He  was  also  for  nine  years 
in  Flint,  Michigan,  as  foreman  of  the  Barney 
Marble  Works,  and  in  1899  he  came  to  St. 
Johns,  where  he  established  business  in  part- 
nership with  William  W.  Hodge  under  the  firm 
name  of  Walter  &  Hodge.  They  are  well  known 
as  monument  dealers,  doing  a  general  cemetery 
business,  and  their  monuments  are  carved  en- 
tirely from  granite.  The  firm  are  pioneers  in 
this  line  of  manufacture  in  Clinton  county  and 
the  scope  of  their  territory  covers  Clinton,  Gra- 
tiot, Shiawassee  and  Ingham  counties,  and 
they  likewise  make  shipments  to  other  parts  of 
the  state,  conducting  a  wholesale  business  in 
the  red  Missouri  granite.  Their  patronage  has 
become  extensive,  making  their  business  a 
profitable  investment  and  their  trade  is  con- 
stantly growing. 

On  the  24th  of  December,  1882,  Mr.  Walter 
was  married  to  Miss  Mary  E.,  daughter  of 
Rev.  David  and  Lucy  A.  Gostelow,  of  Caro, 
Michigan.  This  marriage  has  been  blessed 
with  two  daughters,  Evelyn  and  Winifred.  Mr. 
Walter  has  membership  relations  with  the 
Maccabees  and  the  Modern  Woodmen  of 
America.  His  business  career  has  been  char- 
acterized by  consecutive  progress  as  the  result 
of  laudable  endeavor  and  ambition  supple- 
mented by  keen  business  discrimination  and 
sagacity. 


WILLIAM  DILLS. 


William  Dills,  living  on  section  32,  Olive 
township,  has  retired  from  the  active  work  of 
the  farm  but  makes  his  home  with  his  daugh- 
ter on  the  old  homestead  within  a  mile  of  the 
village  of  Dewitt.  He  is  numbered  among  the 
old  settlers  of  the  state,  dating  his  residence  in 


Michigan  from  1842  and  since  1853  he  has 
lived  in  Clinton  county.  His  birth  occurred  in 
Cayuga  county,  New  York,  September  10, 
1820.  His  father,  George  Dills,  was  a  native 
of  the  same  county  and  was  there  reared  to 
manhood,  after  which  he  married  Miss  Jane 
Hillaker.  Mr.  Dills  removed  to  Ohio  with  his 
family  in  1830  and  settled  in  Huron  county, 
where  he  engaged  in  farming  until  he  came  to 
Michigan,  joining  his  son  in  Clinton  county, 
where  he  spent  his  remaining  days. 

William  Dills  was  reared  in  the  Buckeye  state 
and  was  a  young  man  when  he  removed  to 
Michigan  in  1842.  He  first  located  in  Oak- 
land county  and  in  the  same  year  was  married 
in  that  county  to  Miss  Maria  Hillaker,  whose 
birth  occurred  in  Cayuga  county,  New  York, 
where  her  girlhood  days  were  passed.  Follow- 
ing their  marriage  the  young  couple  began  their 
domestic  life  upon  a  tract  of  rented  land  which 
Mr.  Dills  operated  for  a  number  of  years.  He 
also  owned  and  operated  a  threshing  machine. 
The  year  1853  witnessed  his  arrival  in  Clinton 
county,  where  he  purchased  a  tract  of  raw  land, 
becoming  owner  of  eighty  acres,  where  he 
now  resides.  He  cleared  and  fenced  this,  built 
a  good  home  and  outbuildings  for  the  shelter 
of  grain  and  stock,  and  continued  the  work  of 
opening  up  the  farm  until  he  now  has  a  splendid 
property.  As  he  prospered  in  his  undertakings 
he  bought  more  land  from  time  to  time  and 
eventually  became  the  owner  of  five  hundred 
acres.  He  was  long  regarded  as  one  of  the 
most  practical,  progressive  and  successful  agri- 
culturists of  the  community  and  his  rest  is 
well  merited. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dills  have  a  family  of  five 
children:  Charles  J.,  who  resides  at  Council 
Bluffs,  Iowa;  W.  S.,  of  Dewitt,  who  is  repre- 
sented elsewhere  in  this  volume;  Jerome,  who 
is  living  in  Olive  township;  Omar  B.,  who  is 
also  mentioned  in  this  work;  and  Mrs.  Ella 
Brinkerhoff,  a  widow,  who  owns  a  part 
of  the  old  Dills  homestead.  Her  husband  was 
Odell  Brinkerhoff,  who  was  born  in  Cayuga 
county,  New  York,  and  died  in  this  county  in 
1883.  He  was  a  farmer  by  occupation.  Mrs. 
Brinkerhoff   has   three   children:    William    D. 


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and  Bert,  who  are  resident  farmers  of  Olive 
township;  and  Genevieve,  who  is  at  home  with 
her  mother. 

Politically  Mr.  Dills  has  been  a  lifelong  re- 
publican and  was  elected  and  served  as  town- 
ship treasurer  when  Olive  township  had  but 
three  republicans  in  it.  He  filled  the  position 
for  three  years  and  he  has  always  been  the 
champion  of  progressive  public  measures.  He 
is  a  believer  in  education  and  in  schools  and  did 
effective  service  while  acting  on  the  school 
board  for  a  number  of  years.  He  and  his  wife 
are  Universalists  in  religious  faith.  They  have 
traveled  life's  journey  together  for  sixty-one 
years  and  Mrs.  Dills  is  now  eighty-one  years 
of  age  while  Mr.  Dills  is  eighty-five,  being  one 
of  the  oldest  men  of  the  county.  For  sixty- 
three  years  he  has  been  a  resident  of  Michigan, 
while  for  over  half  a  century  he  has  made  his 
home  in  Clinton  courty  and  has  thus  witnessed 
its  wonderful  growTth  and  development.  He  is 
well  known  throughout  the  county  as  a  man 
of  upright  character,  sterling  worth  and  fidelity 
to  principle  and  he  and  his  family  are  much 
esteemed  in  the  community. 


A.   C.   LEE. 


A.  C.  Lee,  of  Elsie,  numbered  among  the 
enterprising  business  men  of  Clinton  county, 
who  for  many  years  has  been  connected  with 
agricultural  pursuits  and  other  business  inter- 
ests here,  is  a  native  of  Cayuga  county,  New 
York,  born  on  the  2d  of  March,  1830.  His 
father  was  Amassa  Lee,  whose  birth  occurred 
in  Saratoga  county,  New  York,  where  he  was 
reared  and  married,  the  lady  of  his  choice  be- 
ing Miss  Electa  Strong,  likewise  a  native  of 
the  Empire  state.  His  death  occurred  in  1833 
when  his  son  A.  C.  Lee  was  but  a  child.  His 
wife  survived  him  and  reared  her  family, 
doing  a  mother's  full  part  toward  her  children. 

A.  C.  Lee  came  to  Michigan  with  his  mother 
and  her  family  in  1844,  when  a  youth  of  four- 
teen years.  They  settled  on  a  farm  in  Ionia 
county,  where  Mrs.  Lee  bought  a  farm  and 


transformed  it  into  a  good  property.  Mr.  Lee 
of  this  review  is  the  youngest  and  the  only 
survivor  in  a  family  of  eight  children.  He 
continued  his  education  in  the  schools  of  Ionia 
county,  receiving  good  advantages  in  that 
direction  and  later  he  engaged  in  teaching  for 
some  years.  The  first  money  he  ever  earned 
was  secured  in  that  way,  being  paid  a  salary  of 
twelve  dollars  per  month,  out  of  which  he 
boarded  himself.  He  later  bought  and  cleared 
a  tract  of  land  and  for  some  years  was  identi- 
fied with  farming  in  that  locality.  Subse- 
quently he  removed  to  Saranac,  Michigan,  es- 
tablishing the  first  bank  in  the  town.  He 
helped  to  settle  and  develop  that  place  and  car- 
ried on  business  there  for  a  number  of  years. 
He  then  sold  out  and  removed  to  Clinton 
county,  where  he  started  his  son  in  the  bank- 
ing business  at  Elsie.  Mr.  Lee  has  largely  de- 
voted his  energies  in  the  buying  and  selling  of 
improved  farms  and  now  owns  several  excel- 
lent farm  properties  in  Clinton  and  Ionia 
counties.  His  judgment  is  seldom  if  ever  at 
fault  in  determining  real-estate  values  and  the 
probable  trend  of  the  country  and  his  invest- 
ments have  therefore  been  judiciously  made 
and  have  brought  him  a  good  return. 

Mr.  Lee  was  married  when  twenty  years  of 
age,  in  1850,  to  Miss  Harriet  E.  Bowen,  a  na- 
tive of  New  York,  whence  she  came  to  Michi- 
gan in  her  girlhood  days  with  her  father,  Israel 
Bowen,  and  his  family,  who  was  one  of  the 
early  settlers  of  Oakland  county.  Later  he  re- 
moved to  Ionia  county.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lee  are 
the  parents  of  four  children:  Jennie,  now  the 
wife  of  Bray  ton  Wilkinson,  a  farmer  residing 
at  Keene,  Ionia  county;  Chadwick  A.,  who  is 
living  on  the  home  farm  in  Ionia  county;  El- 
mer E.,  a  resident  farmer  of  Duplain  town- 
ship, and  E.  C.  Lee,  who  resides  with  his 
father  in  Elsie  and  is  a  farmer  and  business 
man. 

Mr.  Lee  of  this  review  cast  his  first  presi- 
dential vote  for  Zachary  Taylor  and  supported 
John  C.  Fremont  in  1856,  since  which  time  he 
has  never  failed  to  cast  his  ballot  for  the  pres- 
idential nominees  of  the  republican  party.  He 
has  been  without  political  aspiration  for  him- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


self  but  has  given  his  attention  to  his  business 
interests  with  a  courage,  energy  and  deter- 
mination that  has  made  him  one  of  the  sub- 
stantial residents  of  this  part  of  the  state.  For 
sixty-one  years  he  has  lived  in  central  Michi- 
gan and  has  seen  the  great  forests  cleared 
away,  the  towns  and  cities  built  and  the  work 
of  improvement  carried  forward  along  pro- 
gressive lines  until  this  section  of  the  state  is 
lacking  in  none  of  the  business  enterprises  or 
the  advantages  known  to  the  older  east.  Mr. 
Lee  has  been  closely  identified  with  the  devel- 
opment of  this  part  of  Michigan  and  is  a  repre- 
sentative citizen  who  well  deserves  mention  in 
this  volume. 


WILLIAM  H.  FARNILL. 

William  H.  Farnill,  living  on  section  6, 
Bath  township,  has  always  been  a  resident  of 
Michigan,  his  birthplace  being  Washtenaw 
county,  his  natal  day  November  4,  1840.  His 
father,  Isaac  Farnill,  was  born  in  Yorkshire, 
England,  in  the  year  181 5,  and  there  passed 
the  days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth,  coming  to 
the  new  world  when  a  young  man.  He  located 
first  in  Pennsylvania  and  was  married  there  to 
Sophia  Bartlett,  who  was  born  in  that  state,  in 
182 1.  About  1838  he  came  to  Michigan,  set- 
tling in  Washtenaw  county  when  its  popula- 
tion was  very  limited,  only  here  and  there  a 
pioneer  cabin  being  seen.  He  began  opening 
up  a  farm,  however,  and  upon  the  place  which 
he  improved  he  reared  his  family  and  spent  his 
last  years. 

It  was  upon  the  old  homestead  there  that 
William  H.  Farnill  was  reared.  Every  morn- 
ing he  made  his  way  to  the  little  schoolhouse 
of  the  district,  returning  in  the  evening  after 
the  tasks  of  the  day  were  completed.  Through 
the  summer  months  he  aided  in  the  work  of 
the  fields  and  he  remained  with  his  father 
until  twenty-one  years  of  age.  He  afterward 
started  out  in  life  on  his  own  account  and  was 
employed  as  a  farm  hand  by  the  day  or  month 
for  a  few  years,  or  until  his  earnings  enabled 
him  to  engage  in  farm  work  for  himself. 


In  Washtenaw  county,  in  1862,  Mr.  Farnill 
was  married  to  Miss  Ellen  Gates,  also  a  native 
of  this  state.  They  began  their  domestic  life 
in  Washtenaw  county,  where  they  lived  for 
three  years,  when  Mr.  Farnill  disposed  of  his 
interests  there  and  purchased  his  present  farm 
on  section  6,  Bath  township.  Only  a  small 
portion  of  this  had  been  cleared  and  almost  the 
only  improvement  was  a  little  log  house,  in 
which  he  and  his  wife  lived  for  a  year  or  so< 
until  he  could  build  a  little  frame  house.  He 
had  at  first  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of 
land,  which  he  prepared  for  the  plow,  cultivat- 
ing and  fencing  it.  Subsequently  he  added 
eighty  acres  so  that  he  now  has  a  good  farm 
of  two  hundred  and  forty  acres  and  the  care 
and  labor  which  he  has  bestowed  upon  it  has 
made  the  place  very  productive  and  his  labors, 
profitable.  His  present  residence  is  a  neat 
brick  house,  and  he  has  also  built  a  good  base- 
ment barn.  He  has  planted  fruit,  including 
berries  and  an  orchard,  and  altogether  has  a 
model  property.  In  the  front  of  his  home  is  a 
well  kept  lawn,  adorned  with  shade  and  orna- 
mental trees  and  flowers  and  the  entire  place  is 
attractive  in  its  appearance,  forming  one  of 
the  best  features  of  the  landscape.  Here  he 
raises  good  stock,  making  a  specialty  of  sheep 
and  keeping  from  one  to  two  hundred  head 
upon  his  place  at  all  times. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Farnill  have  two  children: 
Arthur,  who  married  Elizabeth  West  and 
owns  and  operates  a  farm  on  section  5,  Bath 
township,  and  he  has  one  daughter,  Elsie ;  and 
Sophia,  the  wife  of  Nelson  Sleight,  of  Ot- 
tumwa,  Iowa,  by  whom  she  has  two  children. 
Vern  and  Sophia. 

Politically  an  earnest  republican,  Mr.  Far- 
nill has  supported  the  party  since  casting  his 
first  presidential  vote  for  Abraham  Lincoln, 
his  last  ballot  being  given  to  Theodore  Roose- 
velt. He  served  as  commissioner  of  highways 
and  on  the  board  of  reviews,  has  been  a  mem- 
ber of  the  school  board  for  twelve  years  and 
likewise  school  treasurer  for  twelve  years.  He 
has  served  as  a  delegate  to  the  county  conven- 
tions and  was  a  member  of  the  first  jury  that 
ever  sat  in  the  present  courthouse.     His  entire 


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life  has  been  passed  in  Michigan  and  its 
growth  and  progress  have  been  matters  of 
deep  interest  to  him,  while  in  his  home  locality 
he  has  contributed  to  the  work  of  general  ad- 
vancement and  improvement  through  his  pub- 
lic-spirited citizenship  and  his  co-operation  in 
many  measures  that  have  proved  of  benefit  to 
the  county. 


HERMAN  P.  KRAUS. 

Enterprise  and  thrift  are  manifest  in  the 
business  life  of  Herman  P.  Kraus,  who  is  op- 
erating the  old  home  farm  on  section  15,  De- 
witt  township.  He  was  born  upon  this  place, 
September  2,  1873,  his  father  being  Philipp 
Kraus,  who  was  born  in  Washtenaw  county, 
Michigan,  in  1840,  while  the  grandfather, 
Christian  Kraus,  was  a  native  of  Germany  and 
became  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Michigan. 
Philipp  Kraus  was  reared  in  Washtenaw 
county  and  in  1859  accompanied  his  father  on 
his  removal  to  Clinton  county,  locating  on  the 
farm  where  his  son  Herman  now  resides.  He 
bought  two  hundred  acres  of  raw  land,  which 
he  cleared  and  fenced,  also  erected  a  good  resi- 
dence and  made  other  modern  improvements, 
transforming  his  place  into  one  of  the  valuable 
farm  properties  of  the  locality.  Philipp  Kraus 
was  married  here  to  Elizabeth  Baumgras,  a 
native  of  Germany.  He  purchased  the  interest 
of  the  other  heirs  in  the  old  homestead  prop- 
erty and  thus  succeeded  to  the  place  upon 
which  he  afterward  built  a  good,  neat  brick 
residence  and  substantial  outbuildings,  thus 
making  a  well  improved  farm.  He  carried  on 
general  agricultural  pursuits  until  1899,  when 
he  removed  to  Lansing  and  purchased  a  resi- 
dence property  in  which  he  now  lives  retired. 
In  his  family  were  five  children :  Kate,  who  is 
now  the  wife  of  Scott  Clark;  Herman  P.,  of 
this  review ;  Eugene,  who  is  living  in  Lansing ; 
Clara,  the  wife  of  Fred  Wimble,  of  Lansing; 
and  Matilda,  who  is  now  attending  Albion 
College. 

Herman  P.  Kraus  was  reared  to  manhood 
on  the  farm  where  he  now  resides,  acquiring 


his  education  in  the  common  schools  and  in 
Lansing  Business  College.  He  was  married, 
on  the  1 8th  of  October,  1899,  in  Watertown, 
to  Miss  Julia  Knaup,  a  native  of  Ohio,  who 
was  reared  and  educated  here.  After  his  mar- 
riage Mr.  Kraus  took  charge  of  the  old  home 
farm,  where  he  is  engaged  in  the  cultivation  of 
the  soil,  in  raising  stock  and  in  dairying.  His 
business  interests  are  well  managed  and  bring 
him  a  good  financial  return. 

Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kraus  has  been  born  a 
daughter,  Edna.  The  parents  are  members  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in  which  he  is 
serving  as  a  trustee.  He  gives  his  political  alle- 
giance to  the  republican  party  and  in  this  re- 
spect is  following  in  the  footsteps  of  his  father, 
who  has  always  been  a  stanch  republican  and 
served  for  several  years  as  highway  commis- 
sioner. He  and  his  wife  were  members  of  the 
Gunnisonville  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  in 
the  work  of  which  Mr.  Kraus  took  a  most  act- 
ive and  helpful  part,  was  steward  and  trustee, 
and  was  one  of  the  most  generous  contributors 
toward  the  erection  of  the  present  brick  house 
of  worship.  He  was  also  a  stalwart  friend  of 
education,  believing  in  the  employment  of  good 
teachers  and  in  upholding  a  high  standard  of 
education  and  for  a  number  of  years  he  capably 
served  on  the  school  board. 


LAFAYETTE  JONES. 

Lafayette  Jones,  now  living  retired  in  St. 
Johns,  is  a  native  of  Oakland  county,  Michi- 
gan, born  June  9,  1843,  ^'1S  parents  being 
George  and  Chloe  A.  (Aldrich)  Jones.  The 
father  was  a  native  of  Ontario  county,  Newr 
York.  The  Jones  family  was  established  in 
the  United  States  in  1727,  when  representa- 
tives of  the  name  emigrated  from  Wales  and 
located  in  Virginia.  The  grandfather,  Samuel 
Jones,  became  a  resident  of  Ontario  county, 
New  York,  whence  he  afterward  removed  to 
Michigan,  settling  in  Oakland  county  in  1836. 
There  he  spent  his  remaining  days,  following 
the  occupation  of  farming.     The  Aldrich  fam- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


ily  is  one  of  those  of  Plymouth  Rock  fame, 
and  from  Massachusetts  the  family  went  to 
New  York  and  afterward  to  Michigan,  arriv- 
ing in  Wayne  county  in  1835.  Savel  Aldrich, 
the  maternal  grandfather  of  our  subject,  took 
up  land  at  various  points  throughout  the  state 
and  was  actively  connected  with  the  pioneer 
development.  His  daughter,  Chloe  A.  Aid- 
rich,  was  born  in  New  York  state  and  in  Oak- 
land county,  Michigan,  gave  her  hand  in  mar- 
riage to  George  Jones.  In  their  family  were 
twelve  children,  of  whom  eight  are  living :  La- 
fayette, James  E.,  who  resides  in  Lansing, 
Michigan;  Sarah  Emily,  the  wife  of  Benjamin 
F.  Miller,  of  the  capital  city;  Florence  A.,  the 
wife  of  a  Mr.  Stringer,  of  Luther,  Michigan; 
Ida,  the  wife  of  Benjamin  West,  of  Grand 
Ledge,  this  state;  Freeman  A.,  a  practicing 
physician  of  Lansing,  Michigan;  and  John 
B.  and  Ernest  A.,  who  are  residents  of  Grand 
Ledge.  Those  deceased  are:  Justin  N.,  who 
died  in  North  Carolina ;  T.  Homer ;  Henry  D. ; 
and  Barton  S.,  who  died  in  Grand  Ledge  in 
May,  1905. 

Lafayette  Jones  was  a  student  in  the  dis- 
trict schools  of  Oneida  township,  Eaton 
county,  Michigan,  and  later  continued  his 
studies  in  the  Union  school  at  Charlotte,  this 
state.  After  teaching  for  one  term  he  entered 
a  select  school  in  Lansing,  and  later  he  taught 
for  one  winter  at  Charlotte,  Michigan.  He  be- 
gan preparation  for  the  practice  of  medicine  as 
a  student  in  the  office  and  under  the  direction 
of  Dr.  J.  C.  Covey,  of  Grand  Ledge,  and  in 
1864-5-6  he  attended  lectures  in  the  University 
of  Michigan,  from  which  he  ivas  graduated  in 
the  last  mentioned  year. 

Dr.  Jones  began  active  practice  in  Pewamo, 
Michigan,  where  he  remained  from  the  spring 
of  1866  until  the  autumn  of  1875.  At  that  date 
he  began  farming  in  Essex  township,  Clinton 
county,  following  agricultural  pursuits  with 
excellent  success  until  the  spring  of  1892, 
when  he  removed  to  St.  Johns,  where  he  has 
since  lived  retired.  His  undertakings  upon^the 
farm  returned  his  a  gratifying  measure  of  suc- 
cess and  upon  his  removal  to  the  city  he  sold 
his    farm   property,    comprising   two   hundred 


acres  of  valuable  land.  He  spends  his  time 
largely  in  travel,  having  visited  many  points 
of  the  United  States  and  Europe,  and  he  has 
attended  the  various  expositions  since  the 
Cotton  Exposition  was  held  in  1885.  He 
greatly  enjoys  home  life,  having  a  residence 
which  is  well  adapted  to  comfort  and  its  hos- 
pitality is  one  of  its  attractive  features. 

Dr.  Jones  was  happily  married  January  12, 
1867,  t0  Miss  Maria  H.  Halbert,  a  daughter 
of  Harrison  Halbert,  of  Grand  Ledge.  Her 
father  came  from  Leroy,  New  York,  to  Mich- 
igan in  1858,  settling  in  Grand  Ledge  in  1861. 
His  wife  bore  the  maiden  name  of  Harriet 
Tillotson  and  comes  of  an  old  family  of  Con- 
necticut, tracing  her  ancestry  back  through 
three  hundred  years. 


TYLER  C.  AVERY. 


Tyler  C.  Avery,  following  the  occupation  of 
farming  on  section  5,  Ovid  township,  is  a  na- 
tive of  Wyoming  county,  New  York,  born 
February  5,  1833,  his  parents  being  John  and 
Sarah  (Cooper)  Avery,  the  former  a  native  of 
Connecticut  and  the  latter  of  New  York.  In 
pioneer  times  in  the  history  of  Michigan  the 
father  came  west  to  Clinton  county  and  took  up 
forty  acres  of  government  land  in  Greenbush 
township.  He  afterward  removed  to  a  farm  a 
mile  east  and  at  one  time  was  the  owner  of  three 
hundred  acres  of  rich  and  productive  land.  He 
died  upon  the  old  farm  homestead  in  1885,  at 
the  age  of  eighty-five  years,  while  his  wife 
passed  away  in  1882,  when  seventy-seven  years 
of  age.  Horace  Avery,  a  brother  of  John 
Avery,  came  to  Michigan  with  him  and  also 
located  in  Greenbush  township  but  subsequently 
sold  his  property  and  removed  to  Nebraska, 
where  his  death  occurred.  In  the  family  of  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  John  Avery  were  seven  children: 
John,  *a  pj;apticing  physician  at  Greenville, 
Michigan;  James  M.,  who  is  now  living  in  Lake 
county,  this  state;  Sanford  C,  who  is  living 
on  a  part  of  the  old  homestead  farm ;  Tyler  C. ; 
and  three  who  have  passed  away,  Marvin  hav- 


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St  Johns.  Michigan 


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T.  C.  AVERY. 


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MRS.  T.  C.  AVERY. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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ing  been  killed  while  serving  in  the  Union 
Army  as  a  member  of  the  Third  Michigan 
Cavalry,  while  Ann  is  the  deceased  wife  of 
Alpheus  Chapman,  and  Laura,  the  deceased 
wife  of  Leonard  Clark. 

Tyler  C.  Avery  was  only  four  years  old  when 
brought  by  his  parents  to  this  state  and  his 
education  was  acquired  in  one  of  the  old  log 
schoolhouses.  He  began  working  in  the  tim- 
ber upon  the  old  home  farm  and  forty-five  years 
ago  he  came  to  his  present  farm  on  section  5, 
Ovid  township,  taking  possession  of  eighty  acres 
of  wild  land,  on  which  he  cut  the  first  stick 
of  timber.  He  has  since  cleared  all  but  a  few 
acres  and  has  plowed  and  planted  the  fields  and 
continued  the  work  of  improvement  until  he 
now  has  a  valuable  and  productive  farming 
property. 

When  his  father  came  to  this  county  in  1839 
Dewitt  was  the  nearest  trading  town  and  on 
one  occasion  the  family  had  to  go  to  Ann  Ar- 
bor for  salt.  The  first  home  of  the  family  was 
a  little  log  structure,  the  roof  being  made  of 
boughs.  As  the  years  have  gone  by  Mr.  Avery 
has  continued  the  work  of  cultivation  and  im- 
provement until  he  now  has  a  valuable  farm- 
ing property.  He  relates  many  interesting  in- 
cidents of  pioneer  times  that  took  place  around 
the  old  homestead  farm  in  Greenbush  township. 
Wolves  and  bears  were  numerous  in  the  forests 
and  annoyed  the  settlers  by  killing  hogs  and 
even  since  Mr.  Avery  has  taken  up  his  abode 
upon  his  present  farm  he  had  four  of  his  sheep 
killed  by  a  bear.  Great  changes  have  occurred, 
however,  as  the  years  have  gone  by  and  the 
country  has  been  claimed  by  the  settlers  who 
have  transformed  the  wild  timbered  region  into 
fertile  farms  and  attractive  homes. 

On  the  nth  of  December,  1855,  Mr.  Avery 
was  married  to  Miss  Hannah  Rowell,  a  daugh- 
ter of  Samuel  and  Sarah  (Pearl)  Rowell,  both 
of  whom  were  natives  of  Springwater,  New 
York.  Mrs.  Avery,  having  traveled  life's 
journey  with  her  husband  for  more  than  forty- 
six  years,  departed  this  life  June  28,  1902,  at 
the  age  of  sixty-two.  In  their  family  were  four 
daughters  and  a  son:  Alice,  the  wife  of  John 
Fizzell,  of  Duplain  township;  Emma,  deceased; 


Jennie,  the  wife  of  Grant  Cleveland,  of  Eureka, 
Michigan;  Myrtle,  the  wife  of  Lewis  McCul- 
lough,  of  Ashley,  Michigan;  and  Arthur  J., 
of  Ovid  township. 

Mr.  Avery  is  a  republican,  having  always 
given  his  allegiance  to  that  party,  and  his  first 
vote  was  cast  in  Greenbush  township.  Both  he 
and  his  wife  are  members  of  the  Christian 
church  at  Colony.  He  is  one  of  the  substantial 
pioneers  of  Clinton  county  and  a  highly  re- 
spected citizen.  From  boyhood  days  he  has 
lived  in  this  part  of  the  state  and  all  who  know 
him  entertain  for  him  warm  regard  because  he 
has  been  found  reliable  in  business  transactions, 
faithful  in  citizenship  and  loyal  in  friendship. 


JAMES  HENRY. 


James  Henry,  living  on  section  7,  Duplain 
township,  is  the  owner  of  a  farm  of  eighty 
acres,  which  in  appearance  indicates  his  care- 
ful supervision  and  practical,  progressive 
methods.  He  has  lived  in  this  state  since  1863 
and  imbued  with  the  spirit  of  progress  in  the 
great  west  has  taken  an  active  and  helpful  part 
in  the  work  of  general  improvement.  His 
birth  occurred  in  Ohio,  on  the  9th  of  July. 
1848.  His  father  was  a  native  of  Pennsyl- 
vania but  in  early  life  removed  westward  to 
Ohio,  where  he  died  during  the  infancy  of  his 
son  James.  He  was  married  to  Miss  Mary 
Henry,  also  a  native  of  the  Keystone  state  and 
a  daughter  of  Benjamin  Henry,  an  early  set- 
tler of  Pennsylvania.  A  few  years  after  the 
death  of  her  first  husband  she  gave  her  hand  in 
marriage  to  John  Waggoner,  a  native  of  Ohio 
and  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Clinton  county. 

James  Henry  of  this  review  was  the  only 
child  born  unto  his  parents.  After  his  mother's 
second  marriage  he  remained  with  her  until  he 
had  attained  his  majority  and  then  came  to 
Michigan,  purchasing  a  farm  of  eighty  acres 
in  Greenbush  township,  Clinton  county.  On 
this  he  built  a  house  and  improved  the  fields 
and  later  he  purchased  where  he  now  resides 
on    section    7,     Duplain    township.      He    has 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


erected  here  a  good  two-story  house,  also  a 
substantial  barn  and  other  outbuildings  for  the 
shelter  of  grain  and  stock.  He  has  planted  an 
orchard  and  considerable  small  fruit  and  in 
connection  with  the  tilling  of  the  fields  he 
raises  some  stock,  principally  cows  for  dairy 
purposes.  His  farm  indicates  in  its  thrifty 
and  well  kept  appearance  the  enterprise  and 
careful  management  of  the  owner,  who  is 
practical  in  all  of  his  work  and  is  meeting  wTith 
very  gratifying  success. 

On  the  4th  of  July,  1872,  Mr.  Henry  was 
married  to  Miss  Florence  E.  Pray,  a  native  of 
Clinton  county  and  a  daughter  of  Orman 
Pray,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  this  state. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  have  three  children : 
Charles,  a  resident  of  Eureka ;  Bertha,  the 
wife  of  Nile  Countryman,  of  Elsie,  and  Artie, 
a  young  man  at  home.  The  parents  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Christian  church  of  Eureka.  Polit- 
ically Mr.  Henry  is  independent,  voting  for 
men  and  measures  rather  than  party,  yet  is  not 
remiss  in  any  duties  of  citizenship,  and  his  co- 
operation can  be  counted  upon  to  further  any 
movements  for  the  general  good. 


GEORGE  B.  FAXON. 

George  B.  Faxon,  postmaster  at  Ovid,  is  a 
native  of  Duplain,  Clinton  county,  born  May 
9,  1850.  His  father,  William  H.  Faxon,  was 
born  in  Batavia,  New  York,  and  came  to  the 
west  in  1837,  settling  in  Clinton  county.  Here 
he  was  married  to  Miss  Bethsheba  Seaver.  a 
native  of  Rochester,  New  York,  who  arrived 
in  this  county  in  1836.  Mr.  Faxon  turned  his 
attention  to  merchandising,  which  he  carried 
on  in  Duplain  towmship,  and  in  1861  he  re- 
moved to  Ovid,  where  he  conducted  a  general 
store  until  1872,  when  he  sold  out.  He  is  en- 
gaged in  the  insurance  business  in  Ovid  and 
has  long  been  recognized  as  one  of  the  promi- 
nent men  of  his  locality. 

George  B.  Faxon,  having  obtained  his  early 
education  in  the  common  schools,  continues  his 
studies  for  two  years  in  the  academy  at  Lansing, 
Michigan,   and   he   entered   upon   his  business 


career  as  a  clerk  in  his  father's  store,  spending 
the  greater  portion  of  his  youth  behind  the 
counter.  After  leaving  his  father's  store  he 
entered  'the  employ  of  Potter  &  Swarthout, 
general  merchants  of  Ovid,  whom  he  repre- 
sented as  a  salesman  for  ten  years,  being  one 
of  the  most  trusted  employes  of  that  house. 
This  position  was  followed  by  his  appointment 
as  postmaster  of  Ovid  under  President  Harri- 
son on  the  9th  of  January,  1893,  and  he  has 
been  continued  in  the  office  by  reappointment  of 
Presidents  McKinley  and  Roosevelt  for  a 
period  of  twelve  consecutive  years  and  will 
probably  be  re-appointed.  He  is  an  unfaltering 
advocate  of  republican  principles,  strong  in  his 
work  in  behalf  of  the  party  and  he  has  never 
wavered  in  his  allegiance  thereto  since  casting 
his  first  presidential  ballot  for  General  Grant. 
He  has  done  everything  in  his  power  to  pro- 
mote the  growth  of  the  party  and  insure  its 
success  and  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  local 
leaders. 

On  the  1 6th  of  November,  1869,  Mr.  Faxon 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Phoebe  L.  Har- 
rison, .a  daughter  of  Z.  H.  (and  Sophronia 
(Beebe)  Harrison,  the  former  a  native  of  New 
Jersey  and  the  latter  of  New  York.  Her 
father  became  a  prominent  citizen  of  Ovid, 
where  he  was  engaged  in  the  milling 
business  until  his  death,  which  occurred  in 
1878,  when  he  was  fifty-two  years  of  age.  His 
widow  still  survives  him.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Faxon 
have  one  son,  George  H.  Faxon,  who  is  now 
private  secretary  to  Governor  Deneen,  at 
Springfield,  Illinois,  and  has  occupied  important 
positions  in  New  York  city.  He  was  private 
secretary  of  H.  M.  Floyt,  the  vice  president 
of  the  Chalmers  Iron  Works;  also  private 
secretary  of  Royal  West;  secretary  of  An- 
thony Comstock  for  two  years;  and  secretary 
of  the  state  republican  central  committee  of 
Illinois.  He  is  an  expert  stenographer  and  is 
a  favorite  of  "Uncle  Joe"  Cannon  and  other 
men  prominent  in  national  political  circles.  He 
was  married  in  1892  to  Minnie  Wylie  and 
has  a  daughter,  lone. 

George  B.  Faxon  belongs  to  the  Ancient 
Order  of  United  Workmen  and  since  1869  has 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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been  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
church,  taking  an  active  part  in  its  musical  af- 
fairs and  long  serving  as  its  chorister.  He  is 
one  of  the  leading  citizens  of  Ovid,  foremost 
in  many  affairs  of  the  community  and  is  highly 
respected  by  all  who  know  him.  His  official 
service  has  been  commendable  and  his  ad- 
ministration, business-like  and  progressive,  has 
won  encomiums  from  all  concerned. 


GEORGE  M.  KILMER. 

George  M.  Kilmer,  who  is  engaged  in  gen- 
eral farming  on  section  14,  Eagle  township, 
was  born  in  the  town  of  Fleming,  Cayuga 
county,  New  York,  October  1,  1836,  his  par- 
ents being  Henry  P.  and  Marie  B.  (Riley)  Kil- 
mer, who  came  to  Michigan  in  1853,  first  set- 
tling in  Jackson,  where  the  father  followed  the 
occupation  of  farming.  He  died  in  the  year 
1866,  when  fifty-seven  years  of  age;  and  his 
wife  has  also  passed  away.  The  Kilmers  were 
of  Holland  lineage  and  early  representatives 
of  the  family  lived  in  Albany  county,  New 
York.  The  Rileys  were  from  Vermont.  Our 
subject's  paternal  grandfather  was  a  soldier  of 
the  war  of  1812  and  the  great-grandfathers  on 
both  sides  were  in  the  Revolutionary  war. 

George  M.  Kilmer  was  one  of  a  family  of 
four  children  and  his  education  was  acquired 
in  the  district  schools.  He  remained  at  home 
in  Jackson,  Michigan,  through  the  period  of 
his  youth  and  in  early  life  learned  the  carpen- 
ter's trade,  which  he  followed  for  some  years. 
In  1868  he  removed  to  Lansing  and  later 
traded  his  property  there  for  his  present  farm 
in  Eagle  township,  having  here  sixty-three 
acres  of  land  which  is  well  cultivated  and  re- 
turns him  good  harvests.  The  only  interrup- 
tion to  an  active  business  career  was  his  service 
in  the  Union  army  during  the  Civil  war.  On 
the  12th  of  August,  1862,  he  enlisted  at  Jack- 
son as  a  private  of  Company  K,  Seventeenth 
Michigan  Infantry,, and  was  in  the  service  for 
fourteen  months.  He  received  an  honorable 
discharge   in   October,    1863,   having  partici- 


pated in  the  engagements  at  Antietam,  South 
Mountain  and  Fredericksburg.  That  his  regi- 
ment made  a  splendid  record  of  bravery  is  in- 
dicated by  the  fact  that  it  was  known  as  the 
Stone  Wall  regiment. 

On  the  19th  of  November,  1857,  Mr.  Kil- 
mer was  married  to  Miss  Orrisa  Hull,  a 
daughter  of  Timothy  and  Orrisa  (Bowdish) 
Hull,  natives  of  Franklin  county,  Vermont. 
They  lived  in  the  Green  Mountain  state  until 
1835,  when  they  removed  to  Jackson  county, 
Michigan,  and  there  spent  their  remaining 
days.  Mrs.  Kilmer's  father  died  when  she  was 
twenty  months  old  but  the  mother  lived  to  be 
eighty-two  years  of  age,  passing  away  in  Lan- 
sing, Michigan.  Pier  paternal  grandfather, 
Jehiel  Hull,  was  a  colonel  of  the  Revolutionary 
war.  The  maternal  grandfather,  Colonel  Jo- 
seph Bowdish,  who  was  in  the  same  service, 
was  a  large  landowner  of  Franklin  county, 
Vermont,  and  was  a  man  of  very  benevolent 
and  kindly  spirit.  He  won  his  title  by  active 
military  service.  Isaac  B.  Bowdish,  an  uncle 
of  Mrs.  Kilmer,  was  a  captain  in  the  Civil  war 
and  died  while  in  the  service,  being  injured  on 
a  draw  bridge  between  Suffolk  and  Norfolk, 
Virginia.  Joseph  B.  Hull,  a  brother  of  Mrs. 
Kilmer,  was  a  prominent  pioneer  of  Lansing 
and  died  in  1901. 

Unto  our  subject  and  his  wife  have  been 
born  three  sons  and  a  daughter  who  are  yet 
living:  George  M.,  at  home;  Ellsworth,  who  is 
engaged  in  the  fire  insurance  and  real-estate 
business  at  Butte,  Montana;  Lynn  L.,  of  Eagle 
township;  and  Florence  N.,  the  wife  of  Donald 
Cole,  of  Battle  Creek,  Michigan.  Two  of  the 
children  died  in  infancy. 

When  age  gave  to  Mr.  Kilmer  the  right  of 
franchise  he  cast  his  presidential  vote  for  John 
C.  Fremont  and  supported  the  republican 
party  for  a  time  but  later  voted  for  Horace 
Greeley  and  is  now  a  democrat.  He  acted  as 
keeper  of  the  prison  at  Ionia,  Michigan,  in 
1882-3.  For  some  years  because  of  rheuma- 
tism he  has  been  incapacitated  for  active  labor 
either  at  his  trade  or  on  the  farm  but  he  gives 
his  personal  supervision  to  his  agricultural  in- 
terests and  has  a  good  property  which  is  the 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY 


visible  evidence  of  his  life  of  thrift  and  indus- 
try, representing  the  investment  of  his  own 
earnings. 


EDWIN  DOBSON. 


Edwin  Dobson,  interested  in  general  farm- 
ing on  section  12,  Bingham  township,  was  born 
in  Yorkshire,  England,  on  the  30th  of  August, 
1833,  his  parents  being  George  and  Mary  Dob- 
son,  both  of  whom  were  natives  of  that  country. 
The  father  was  born  in  1800  and  became  a 
fancy  basketmaker  and  also  conducted  a  store 
in  the  city  of  Bridlington,  thus  carrying  on 
business  until  his  death,  which  occurred  Octo- 
ber 1,  1845.  His  wife,  who  was  born  in  1805, 
survived  him  until  February  14,  1851. 

Edwin  Dobson  is  the  last  surviving  member 
of  the  family  of  thirteen  children.  In  early  life 
he  learned  the  butcher's  trade,  which  he  fol- 
lowed until  he  sailed  for  America,  landing  in 
this  country  in  August,  1853,  at  Willington 
Square,  Canada.  There  he  followed  butchering 
until  he  removed  to  Toronto,  where  he  spent 
two  years,  going  later  to  Stoverville,  where  he 
spent  two  and  a  half  years.  His  next  place  of 
residence  was  at  Norwick,  Canada,  and  in  1859 
he  went  to  Detroit,  and  followed  farming  at 
Livonia,  Wayne  county.  His  attention  was 
thus  occupied  until  April,  1863,  when  he  went 
to  Shiawassee  county,  and  in  1865  he  returned 
to  Livonia,  where  he  remained  until  1872. 

In  that  year  he  removed  to  Clinton  county 
and  took  up  forty  acres  of  land  from  the 
government  on  section  12,  Bingham  township, 
the  patent  being  signed  by  General  Grant  and 
transferred  to  Mr.  Dobson  by  John  Bailey.  As 
the  years  have  passed  by  Mr.  Dobson  has  added 
two  forty-acre  tracts  to  his  place,  all  of  which 
was  covered  with  timber.  His  first  house  was 
ten  by  fourteen  feet,  in  which  the  family  lived 
for  a  year  while  the  land  was  being  cleared. 
Later  a  more  commodious  residence  was  pre- 
pared for  the  family  and  as  the  years  have 
gone  by  Mr.  Dobson  has  continued  the  work  of 
improvement.     In  1898  he  built  a  large  barn 


and  in  1900  erected  a  commodious  and  hand- 
some residence.  He  bore  the  usual  hardships  of 
the  pioneer  who  makes  his  way  into  a  frontier 
district  with  no  money,  but  as  the  years  have 
gone  by  he  has  prospered  and  now  owns  an  ex- 
cellent farm  on  which  are  fine  buildings.  None 
of  the  roads  that  now  pass  by  the  farm  were 
opened  up  at  that  time,  the  nearest  public  high- 
way being  three-fourths  of  a  mile  north  and 
another  one  about  an  equal  distance  to  the  south. 
Mr.  Dobson  has  taken  an  active  interest  in 
township  matters  and  for  a  number  of  years 
served  as  pathmaster,  although  he  has  always 
eschewed  office  holding.  He  has,  however,  sup- 
ported all  progressive  public  measures  for  the 
benefit  of  his  community  and  is  intensely  inter- 
ested in  its  welfare  and  development. 

On  the  1st  of  November,  1853,  Mr.  Dobson 
was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Ann  Stubbs,  a 
daugther  of  George  Stubbs,  of  Yorkshire, 
England,  who  died  in  March,  1854.  The  chil- 
dren of  that  marriage  are  Harriet  and  Ellen, 
twins,  the  former  the  wife  of  William  Bowen 
and  the  latter  the  wife  of  George  Glasier,  of 
Fenton,  Illinois;  and  George  Dobson,  who  is 
living  in  St.  Johns.  For  his  second  wife  Mr. 
Dobson  chose  Rachel  Stubbs,  whom  he  wedded 
in  November,  1858,  and  who  died  on  the  16th 
of  March,  1862.  The  two  children  of  that 
marriage  died  in  infancy.  On  the  2d  of  April, 
1863,  occurred  the  marriage  of  Mr.  Dobson  and 
Miss  Alice  Vanderkarr,  a  daughter  of  Joseph 
and  Prudence  (Ketchem)  Vanderkarr,  both  of 
whom  were  natives  of  New  York,  the  former 
born  in  Rensselaer  and  the  latter  in  Steuben 
county.  There  are  two  children  of  the  third 
marriage:  Albert  E.,  who  was  born  in  1868 
and  is  living  upon  the  home  farm  on  section 
11,  Bingham  township;  and  Walter,  who  was 
bonf  in  1877  and  died  in  1882. 

Mrs.  Dobson's  parents  were  residents  of 
New  York  until  1845,  when  they  came  west- 
ward to  Michigan,  settling  first  in  Wayne 
county,  where  the  father  entered  land  from 
the  government  in  the  township  of  Livonia. 
There  he  remained  until  1848  and  in  the  mean- 
time he  lost  his  wife,  who  died  in  1846.  On 
leaving  Wayne  county    he    came    to    Clinton 


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MR.  AND  MRS.  EDWIN  DOBSON. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


3ii 


county,  settling  in  Dewitt  township,  where  he 
spent  a  number  of  years  and  then  traded  that 
farm  for  one  in  Shiawassee  county,  where  he 
resided  until  1866.  He  afterward  spent  a  year 
in  Owosso  and  then  removed  to  Caledonia 
township,  settling  on  a  farm,  where  he  resided 
until  1882,  when  he  was  killed  in  an  accident 
at  the  Owosso  Railroad  crossing  on  the  25th 
of  October  of  that  year.  His  wife  passed  away 
July  25,  1846,  and  Mrs.  Dobson  was  afterward 
reared  by  her  aunt,  Mrs.  Priscilla  Peck,  of 
Livonia,  with  whom  she  remained  until  her 
marriage.  Her  aunt  lived  here  for  twenty-nine 
years  and  died  on  the  7th  of  April,  1903.  Mrs. 
Dobson  pursued  her  education  in  the  district 
schools  until  fourteen  years  of  age  and  after- 
ward spent  one  year  in  the  State  Normal  School 
at  Ypsilanti.  At  the  age  of  seventeen  years  she 
gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to  Mr.  Dobson,  with 
whom  she  has  now  traveled  life's  journey  for 
more  than  forty  years. 

Since  coming  to  this  country  Mr.  Dobson 
has  made  several  trips  back  to  his  native  land, 
visiting  England  in  1885,  1891,  1895  and  again 
in  1899.  His  first  voyage  across  the  Atlantic 
covered  forty-two  days  and  his  last  but  five  and 
a  half  days,  such  has  teen  the  improvement  in 
ocean  transportation.  He  has  never  had  ac- 
casion  to  regret  his  determination  to  seek  a 
home  in  America,  for  here  he  has  found  the 
opportunities  he  sought  and  through  well 
directed  effort  has  gained  a  very  comfortable 
competence,  while  through  an  upright  life  he 
has  won  many  warm  friends  that  make  his  resi- 
dence in  this  county  a  pleasant  one. 


RAY  ROBSON. 


Ray  Robson  is  the  present  efficient  and 
obliging  postmaster  of  Bath  and  one  of  the 
active  and  leading  business  men  there,  having 
been  connected  with  its  mercantile  interests  for 
twelve  years.  He  is  a  native  son  of  Michigan, 
having  been  born  in  Ingham  county,  on  the 
3d  of  November,  1872.  His  father,  Matthew 
Robson,  was  born  in  Northumberland  county. 
20 


England,  on  the  20th  of  February,  1829,  and 
came  of  a  long  line  of  English  ancestry.  He 
was  reared  to  manhood  in  the  county  of  his 
nativity  and  when  a  young  man  came  to  the 
new  world,  arriving  here  in  1853.  He  first  lo- 
cated in  Canada,  where  he  spent  two  years, 
and  then  came  to  Michigan,  settling  in  Ingham 
county,  in  1855.  Here  he  worked  on  a  farm 
and  later  he  bought  a  tract  of  land  which  he 
cultivated  for  a  number  of  years.  He  bought, 
improved  and  sold  four  different  farms  in  the 
county  and  was  one  of  its  progressive  and  en- 
terprising agriculturists.  He  was  married  in 
Ingham  county,  to  Miss  Jemima  A.  Thorn- 
bury,  who  was  also  a  native  of  England  and 
in  her  girlhood  days  was  brought  to  the  new 
world,  being  reared  in  Michigan.  In  1884  Mr. 
Robson  sold  his  property  in  Ingham  county 
and  took  up  his  abode  in  Bath,  Clinton  county, 
where  he  purchased  a  store  building  and  put 
in  a  stock  of  goods.  He  carried  on  the  busi- 
ness "for  about  nine  years  and  then  sold  out  to 
his  son.  There  were  two  sons  in  the  family 
but  Ernest  died  when  a  young  man  of  about 
twenty  years.  Politically  the  father  is  a 
stanch  republican,  having  supported  the  party 
since  casting  his  first  presidential  ballot  for 
Abraham  Lincoln  but  he  has  never  sought  or 
desired  office.  He  is  widely  and  favorably 
known  in  both  Ingham  and  Clinton  counties  as 
a  respected  and  worthy  citizen. 

Ray  Robson  arrived  in  Clinton  county  when 
a  lad  of  twelve  years  and  was  reared  in  Bath, 
acquiring  his  education  in  its  public  schools. 
From  his  youth  up  he  assisted  in  his  father's 
store,  early  becoming  familiar  with  the  busi- 
ness, acquainted  with  the  stock  and  under- 
standing the  principles  of  successful  conduct 
here.  In  1893  ne  purchased  his  fathers  store 
and  succeeded  to  the  business,  which  he  has 
since  carried  on,  having  now  a  large  and  care- 
fully selected  line  of  goods  such  as  is  in  de- 
mand by  the  general  trade.  He  was  ap- 
pointed postmaster  of  Bath  by  President  Mc- 
Kinley  and  has  now  served  in  that  capacity  for 
eight  years,  his  administration  of  the  duties  of 
the  office  being  highly  satisfactory  to  the  gen- 
eral public. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


Mr.  Robson  was  married,  in  Bath,  in  Octo- 
ber, 1893,  to  Miss  Daisy  La  Noble,  a  native  of 
Clinton  county,  Michigan,  born,  reared  and 
educated  in  Bath,  and  a  daughter  of  John  La 
Noble,  a  prominent  farmer  of  this  locality. 
Like  his  father  Mr.  Robson  gives  his  political 
allegiance  to  the  republican  party  but  aside 
from  the  office  of  postmaster  has  never  sought 
or  desired  political  preferment,  giving  his  time 
exclusively  to  his  business  interests.  He  is  a 
young  man  of  good  business  ability  and  execu- 
tive force,  of  keen  discernment  and  laudable 
ambition  and  of  sterling  character. 


CHARLES  S.   DIETRICH. 

Charles  S.  Dietrich,  who  follows  farming 
on  section  13,  Victor  township,  was  born  in 
Macomb  county,  Michigan,  on  the  23d  of 
January,  1849,  and  is  a  representative  of  one 
of  the  old  families  of  Pennsylvania.  His  pa- 
ternal grandfather,  Jacob  Dietrich,  was  reared 
in  the  Keystone  state  and  in  1823  removed  to 
New  York,  settling  in  Monroe  county,  where 
he  reared  his  family.  His  son,  Martin  Diet- 
rich, was  born  in  Pennsylvania  but  spent  the 
days  of  his  boyhood  and  youth  in  the  Empire 
state,  where  he  formed  the  acquaintance  of 
and  married  Miss  Caroline  Sherwood,  whose 
birth  occurred  in  New  York.  She  was  a 
daughter  of  Somers  Sherwood,  one  of  the  first 
settlers  of  Monroe  county. 

In  early  life  Martin  Dietrich  learned  the 
wagonmaker's  trade,  which  pursuit  he  fol- 
lowed for  a  few  years,  while  later  he  turned  his 
attention  to  carpentering  and  was  identified 
with  building  operations  first  in  New  York 
and  afterward  in  Michigan.  Subsequent  to 
his  arrival  in  this  state  he  bought  a  farm  in 
Macomb  county  but  took  up  his  abode  in 
*  Memphis,  where  he  lived  for  twenty  years.  In 
1865  he  removed  to  the  farm  on  section  13, 
Victor  township,  Clinton  county,  where  his 
son  C.  S.  Dietrich  now  resides,  and  began  to 
cultivate  and  improve  that  property,  which  he 
developed  through  the  aid  of  his  sons.   His  last 


years  were  spent  upon  the  old  homestead  and 
he  died  in  1882.  Going  to  New  Mexico  for  his 
health  his  last  days  were  spent  in  the  home  of 
a  daughter,  where  he  died  in  1882.  His  wife 
had  passed  away  in  Macomb  county,  Michi- 
gan, dying  in  i860. 

Charles  S.  Dietrich  was  a  young  man  of 
sixteen  years  when  he  came  with  his  parents  to 
Clinton  county,  locating  where  he  now  resides, 
and  he  assisted  in  improving  the  home  farm, 
remaining  with  his  father  upon  that  place  up 
to  the  time  of  the  latter' s  death.  He  subse- 
quently had  charge  of  the  work  of  clearing  and 
developing  the  property,  and  after  his  father's 
death  he  bought  out  the  widow  and  other  heirs 
and  succeeded  to  the  ownership  of  the  farm, 
now  owning  one  hundred  and  thirty  acres.  A 
commodious  and  pleasant  brick  residence  has 
been  built  by  him  and  he  has  also  built  two 
good  barns  so  that  the  improvements  upon  the 
place  are  in  keeping  with  the  modern  ideas  of 
the  progressive  farmer.  He  has  likewise  planted 
an  orchard  and  year  by  year  cultivates  his 
fields  which  in  course  of  time  bring  forth  good 
harvests.  He  likewise  raises  pure  blooded 
Holstein  cattle  and  has  some  high  grade  stock. 
For  about  ten  years  he  engaged  in  the  manu- 
facture of  tile  and  brick  upon  his  farm  and  the 
brick  used  in  the  construction  of  his  home  was 
burned  in  his  kilns.  He  has  also  laid  several 
miles  of  tile  on  his  farm  which  is  well  drained 
until  the  fields  have  become  extremely  pro- 
ductive. Everything  about  the  place  is  indica- 
tive of  his  careful  supervision  and  in  his  work 
he  is  extremely  practical,  his  labors  proving  a 
resultant  factor  in  the  acquirement  of  a  grati- 
fying success. 

Mr.  Dietrich  was  married  in  Bath  township, 
Clinton  county,  December  25,  1883,  to  Miss 
Ada  Chapman,  who  was  born  in  Macomb 
county  but  was  reared  in  Clinton  county,  a 
daughter  of  Isaac  Chapman,  now  of  Lansing, 
Michigan.  She  pursued  her  education  in  the 
schools  of  Ovid  and  of  Lansing  and  success- 
fully engaged  in  teaching  in  Clinton  county 
prior  to  her  marriage.  There  were  three  chil- 
dren born  of  this  union :  Nellie,  who  is  a  gradu- 
ate of  the  high  school  of  St.  Johns  and  for  one 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


313 


year  was  a  teacher,  is  now  a  student  in  the 
State  Normal  School.  Clara  is  now  a  student 
at  Laingsburg.  Clarence  completes  the  family. 
In  his  political  views  Mr.  Dietrich  has 
alway  been  a  republican  and  is  now  serving  as 
justice  of  the  peace  in  Victor  township.  He 
has  likewise  been  a  member  of  the  school  board 
and  in  this  connection  has  done  effective  serv- 
ice in  promoting  the  cause  of  education  by 
employing  competent  teachers  and  upholding 
the  standard  of  the  schools.  His  wife  and 
children  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episco- 
pal church  and  both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dietrich 
belong  to  the  local  Grange.  He  is  a  thrifty  and 
prosperous  farmer  and  careful  business  man, 
well  known  in  St.  Johns  and  Clinton  county, 
and  his  genuine  worth  and  upright  character 
have  made  him  worthy  the  regard  in  which  he 
is  uniformly  held. 


RAY  T.  FULLER,  M.  D. 

Dr.  Ray  T.  Fuller,  who  is  accorded  a  good 
patronage  which  is  the  public  expression  of 
confidence  and  trust  in  his  professional  skill 
and  ability,  was  born  in  Carson  county,  Michi- 
gan, on  the  15th  of  October,  1875,  his  parents 
being  Thomas  and  Emily  (Davis)  Fuller,  na- 
tives of  Steuben  and  Genesee  counties,  New 
York,  respectively.  The  Fullers  were  an  old 
Vermont  family  and  tradition  states  that  their 
ancestors  came  to  America  on  the  Mayflower, 
two  brothers  crossing  the  Atlantic  on  that  his- 
toric voyage.  Solomon  Fuller,  the  great- 
grandfather, removed  from  the  Connecticut 
valley  to  New  York.  The  Fullers  have  long 
been  a  family  of  farmers  and  Dr.  Fuller  of  this 
review  is  the  only  one  who  has  entered  profes- 
sional life.  His  maternal  grandfather,  Thomas 
Davis,  was  likewise  born  in  the  Empire  state 
and  came  to  Michigan  in  i860,  settling  in 
Carson  City,  where  he  died  in  1900,  at  the  age 
of  seventy-four  years,  while  his  wife  is  still 
living.  But  two  of  his  family,  however,  came 
to  Michigan,  Franklin  and  Thomas,  the  latter 
the  father  of  our  subject,  arriving  in  this  state 


about  forty  years  ago,  settling  in  Montcalm 
county  when  it  was  an  almost  unbroken  wil- 
derness. He  is  still  living  there  upon  the  old 
family  homestead,  on  which  his  son,  Dr.  Ful- 
ler, was  born.  His  wife  came  with  her  parents 
to  Michigan  when  a  maiden  of  ten  summers, 
her  father  taking  up  land  from  the  government 
and  transforming  the  tract  into  a  productive 
farm.  Her  mother,  Mrs.  Caroline  Davis,  is 
still  living  and  enjoying  good  health  for  one  of 
her  years. 

Thomas  Fuller  was  twice  married,  and  by 
the  first  union  had  a  daughter  and  a  son :  Fran- 
ces, now  the  wife  of  William  Davis,  who  is  liv- 
ing on  the  old  Davis  homestead  at  Carson 
City,  and  Scott,  who  resides  at  Aberdeen, 
South  Dakota.  Unto  Thomas  and  Emily 
(Davis)  Fuller  were  born  two  daughters  and  a 
son,  the  sisters  of  the  Doctor  being  Ada  and 
Eva  Fuller,  both  of  whom  are  successful 
teachers. 

Dr.  Fuller  pursued  his  preliminary  educa- 
tion in  the  district  schools  and  afterward  at- 
tended the  high  school  at  Carson  City,  Michi- 
gan. Determining  upon  the  practice  of  med- 
icine as  a  life  work  he  matriculated  in  the 
University  of  Michigan  in  1895  as  a  student  in 
the  medical  department.  He  was  graduated 
from  the  Saginaw  Valley  Medical  College,  at 
Saginaw,  Michigan,  on  the  14th  of  May,  1903, 
and  located  for  practice  at  Belding,  this  state, 
where  he  remained  for  nine  months.  On  the 
1 2th  of  February,  1904,  he  removed  to  Eagle, 
where  he  opened  an  office  and  has  since  suc- 
cessfully followed  his  profession,  soon  demon- 
strating his  ability  to  cope  with  the  intricate 
problems  that  continually  confront  the  physi- 
cian so  that  his  patronage  has  constantly 
increased. 

On  the  31st  of  October,  1899,  Dr.  Fuller 
was  married  to  Miss  Ida  E.  Stuckey,  a  daugh- 
ter of  Henry  B.  and  Florence  (Moore) 
Stuckey,  of  Gratiot  county,  Michigan.  They 
have  one  child,  Paul  M.  Dr.  Fuller  has  frater- 
nal relations  with  the  Maccabees  and  the 
Gleaners  and  is  examining  physician  for  the 
latter.  He  is  yet  a  young  man  but  possesses 
ability  of  superior  order,  owing  his  success  to 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


earnest  study  of  the  principles  of  medicine  and 
his  conscientious  regard  of  the  obligations  of 
the  profession. 


GILES  J.  GIBBS. 


"Through  struggles  to  success"  contains  in 
brief  the  life  history  of  Giles  J.  Gibbs,  who, 
encountering  many  difficulties  and  obstacles  in 
his  earlier  business  career,  overcame  these  by 
persistent  and  earnest  purpose  and  as  the  years 
passed  he  prospered.  He  was  for  a  long  period 
connected  with  mercantile  interests  in  St.  Johns, 
also  in  real-estate  dealing,  and  he  possessed  the 
energy  and  firm  purpose  that  enabled  him  to 
carry  forward  to  successful  completion  what- 
ever he  undertook.  He  was  born  in  Jefferson 
county,  New  York,  September  3,  1827,  his  par- 
ents being  David  and  Hannah  Gibbs,  the  for- 
mer a  native  of  Connecticut,  and  the  latter  of 
New  York.  The  father  was  a  soldier  in  the 
war  of  18 1 2  and  died  from  injuries  sustained 
while  in  battle.  His  wife  passed  away  whetl 
their  son  Giles  was  only  eight  years  of  age. 
The  Gibbs  family  was  established  in  New  Eng- 
land in  an  early  day  in  the  colonization  of  the 
new  world.  Giles  J.  Gibbs  is  the  youngest  of 
four  children  and  the  only  one  now  living,  the 
others  having  been  Spencer  W.,  Emily  and 
Matilda. 

Deprived  of  a  mother's  care  at  a  very  early 
age,  Giles  J.  Gibbs  had  no  opportunity  for  ac- 
quiring an  education,  but  he  was  early  forced 
to  begin  life  on  his  own  account,  meeting  its 
difficult  problems  and  facing  its  hardships.  He 
was  employed  as  a  farm  hand  and  in  this  wTay 
earned  two  hundred  dollars  which  he  held  in 
notes  against  his  employers.  He  worked  for  a 
Mr.  Benedict  and  while  there  the  family  urged 
him  to  attend  school,  which  he  finally  concluded 
to  do,  accompanying  William  Benedict  and 
William  Prine  to  Spring  Arbor  College,  where 
he  pursued  his  studies  until  his  funds  were  ex- 
hausted. He  mastered  the  English  grammar 
and  made  good  progress  in  mathematics  but  at 
length  found  himself  fifty  dollars  in  debt,  which 


he  was  enabled  to  discharge,  however,  the  fol- 
lowing season.  Going  to  Jackson,  Michigan,, 
he  worked  by  the  month  as  a  farm  hand,  earn- 
ing a  little  money  in  that  way,  and  then  made 
arrangements  for  a  farm  of  his  own,  purchas- 
ing sixty  acres  by  the  payment  of  fifty  dollars 
in  cash,  giving  notes  for  the  remainder. 

Mr.  Gibbs  was  then  married  in  Branch 
county  and  took  his  wife  to  the  new  home,  but 
he  finally  sold  that  farm  and  removed  to  a  tract 
of  land  in  Ionia  county,  locating  in  the  village 
of  Matherton,  where  he  was  living  at  the  time 
of  his  wife's  death.  By  wagon  he  traveled  to- 
Coldwater  with  his  child,  six  months  old,  in 
order  to  leave  the  little  one  with  relatives.  Re- 
turning to  Jackson  he  then  engaged  in  the  dray- 
ing  business  and  later  he  turned  his  attention 
to  the  grocery  business,  but  after  conducting 
the  same  for  a  year  and  a  half  his  entire  stock 
was  destroyed  by  fire.  Receiving  his  insurance, 
he  paid  his  debts  but  had  nothing  left  with 
which  to  resume  business.  He  then  began 
traveling  for  a  drug  house  in  Indianapolis, 
which  he  represented  for  a  year  at  a  salary  of 
eight  hundred  dollars. 

In  1857  Mr.  Gibbs  arrived  in  St.  Johns  but 
the  site  of  the  city  was  almost  covered  with- 
forest  trees  and  he  felt  that  he  would  not  care- 
to  remain.  However,  being  offered  a  position, 
he  concluded  to  stay  and  later  bought  a  business 
lot  on  Main  street  of  Alvin  Walker.  In  1858 
he  married  again  and  for  two  years  thereafter 
he  followed  various  business  pursuits.  Later 
he  built  a  store  on  his  lot  and  stocked  it  with 
groceries,  making  some  money  during  the 
period  of  the  Civil  war.  He  then  bought  forty 
acres  of  land  surrounding  his  present  home, 
which  he  subdivided  and  sold  as  village  lots, 
realizing  a  handsome  profit  upon  the  invest- 
ment. He  also  engaged  in  the  dry-goods  busi- 
ness but  did  not  find  that  a  paying  venture.  He 
was  in  partnership  with  William  Lazelle,  under 
the  firm  style  of  Gibbs  &  Lazelle,  and  they  sold 
out  to  D.  C.  Hurd.  Mr.  Gibbs  afterward  gave 
his  attention  for  a  time  to  his  real-estate  oper- 
ations and  not  only  sold  off  the  original  forty- 
acre  tract  but  also  purchased  and  disposed  of 
additional   property.      In    1867   he   again   em- 


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GILES  J.   GIBBS. 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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barked  in  the  grocery  business,  building  a  store 
on  Clinton  avenue,  and  for  fifteen  years  he  con- 
tinued successfully  in  the  trade,  selling  out  to 
O.  P.  Dewitt  in  1882.  He  then  retired  from 
active  commercial  pursuits  and  has  since  en- 
joyed a  well  earned  rest,  giving  his  attention 
merely  to  the  supervision  of  his  invested  inter- 
ests. He  has  built  two  brick  blocks  on  Clinton 
avenue  since  the  destruction  of  the  wooden 
building  by  fire.  He  gave  close  and  unre- 
mitting attention  to  his  business  for  many  years 
and  it  was  this  that  now  makes  it  possible  for 
him  to  enjoy  in  comfort  the  evening  of  life, 
unburdened  by  the  cares  of  business. 

On  the  25th  of  March,  185 1,  Mr.  Gibbs 
was  married  to  Miss  Elizabeth  Jane  Graham, 
a  daughter  of  David  Graham,  of  Branch  county, 
Michigan.  She  died  April  8,  1855,  and  their 
daughter  Lois  A.  died  at  the  age  of  fifteen 
months,  but  she  left  a  son,  Judson  D.,  who  is 
now  living  in  San  Francisco,  California.  He 
has  taken  a  prominent  part  in  political  affairs 
and  during  President  Cleveland's  second  ad- 
ministration was  appointed  collector  of  the  port 
of  San  Francisco.  For  his  second  wife  Mr. 
Gibbs  chose  Sarah  J.  Yound,  a  daughter  of 
Daniel  Yound,  of  Ionia  county.  They  were 
married  January  1,  1858,  and  traveled  life's 
journey  together  until  May  20,  1905,  when 
Mrs.  Gibbs  passed  away,  at  the  age  of  seventy 
years.  She  was  to  her  husband  a  faithful  com- 
panion and  helpmate,  aiding  him  in  every  pos- 
sible way  in  his  efforts  to  secure  a  home  and 
competence  for  he  was  a  poor  man  when  they 
were  married.  By  her  help,  encouragement, 
perseverance  and  sacrifice,  he  was  enabled  to 
overcome  all  obstacles  and  lay  the  foundation 
for  his  present  prosperity.  She  was  prompt  in 
action,  quick  to  see  and  grasp  any  opportunity, 
and  the  words  "it  can't  be  done"  never  sprang 
to  her  lips.  She  was  ever  hopeful  and  faithful, 
understanding  perfectly  that  "I  can"  is  king 
and  "I  can't"  a  servant.  Withal  she  was  a 
most  loving  and  unselfish  wife  and  mother. 
Unto  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gibbs  were  born  two  daugh- 
ters :  Alma  Elizabeth,  who  died  May  20,  1862, 
in  her  fourth  year;  and  Lizzie  Liroque,  who 
lives  with  her  father  in  St.  Johns. 


Mr.  Gibbs  visited  California  in  1890,  but  up 
to  that  time  he  had  given  little  attention  to 
travel  or  enjoyment,  his  attention  being  claimed 
entirely  by  his  business  pursuits.  In  politics 
he  is  a  democrat  but  he  has  never  been  active 
in  the  party  nor  cared  for  prominence  in  that 
direction.  He  is  a  self-made  man  in  the  fullest 
sense  of  that  oft  misused  term,  his  prosperity 
in  life  being  due  to  his  industry,  integrity  and 
an  unfaltering  purpose,  which  has  enabled  him 
in  the  face  of  difficulties  and  discouragements 
to  press  steadily  forward.  He  has  now  passed 
the  seventy-eighth  milestone  on  life's  journey. 


lewis  g.  Mcknight. 

Lewis  G.  McKnight,  a  prominent  represent- 
ative of  the  grain  trade  in  St.  Johns,  is  a  native 
of  Ohio,  born  July  26,  1845.  His  paternal 
grandfather,  Robert  McKnight,  was  for  many 
years  a  resident  of  Ohio,  where  he  spent  his 
last  days,  farming  being  his  life  occupation. 
The  family  is  of  Scotch  lineage  and  was 
founded  in  America  by  three  brothers  of  the 
name  who  came  from  the  land  of  the  heather 
about  four  generations  ago.  They  settled  in 
different  localities  of  Pennsylvania  and  one  of 
these  was  James  McKnight,  the  great-grand- 
father of  our  subject.  William  McKnight,  the 
father,  was  born  in  Ohio  and  largely  spent  his 
youth  and  early  manhood  in  that  state,  whence 
he  came  to  Michigan  in  1849.  He  was  married 
yi  Deerfield,  Ohio,  to  Miss  Lois  Richards,  who 
represented  an  old  Vermont  family,  her  father, 
Obadiah  Richards,  removing  from  the  Green 
Mountain  State  to  New  York  after  his  mar- 
riage, and  it  was  in  the  latter  state  that  Mrs. 
McKnight  was  born.  Her  parents  had  six  chil- 
dren, she  being  the  second  in  order  of  birth  in 
a  family  of  three  sons  and  three  daughters. 

William  McKnight  was  a  minister  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church  and  filled  a  num- 
ber of  pulpits  in  Michigan  at  an  early  day.  He 
continued  in  active  pastoral  work  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  1872, 
when  he  was  fifty-eight  years  of  age.    His  in- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


fluence  was  of  no  restricted  order  and  he  took 
an  active  part  in  the  moral  development  of 
various  communities  in  the  middle  part  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  while  his  influence  yet  re- 
mains as  a  blessed  benediction  to  many  who 
knew  him.  His  wife  survived  until  1898,  de- 
parting this  life  at  the  advanced  age  of  eighty 
years.  She  was  a  devoted  mother  and  a  faith- 
ful friend,  possessing  qualities  of  heart  and 
mind  that  endeared  her  to  all  with  whom  she 
came  in  contact.  Rev.  and  Mrs.  William  Mc- 
Knight  become  the  parents  of  three  children, 
but  Robert  died  at  the  age  of  twelve  years  and 
James  at  the  age  of  fifteen  years. 

Lewis  G.  McKnight,  the  youngest  and  only 
surviving  member  of  the  family,  acquired  his 
early  education  in  the  common  schools.  He 
began  farming  for  himself  on  the  old  home- 
stead, where  he  remained  until  189 1,  when  he 
removed  to  St.  Johns.  Four  years  later  he 
purchased  the  Brown  Brothers  Elevator  and 
has  since  continued  active  in  business  as  a 
dealer  in  grain,  coal,  lime  and  cement.  He 
does  business  to  the  amount  of  over  forty 
thousand  dollars  per  year  and  is  one  of  the 
leading  representatives  of  the  trade  in  this  part 
of  the  state.  Watchful  of  the  business  indica- 
tions pointing  to  success  he  has,  through  the 
utilization  of  opportunity,  through  close  appli- 
cation and  unfaltering  diligence,  gained  a 
creditable  position  as  a  representative  of  com- 
mercial interests  in  Clinton  county. 

On  the  23d  of  August,  1866,  Mr.  McKnight 
was  married  to  Miss  Eliza  Pearl,  a  daughter 
of  Stephen  Pearl,  of  Greenbush  township^ 
They  have  one  daughter,  Daisy  L.  Mr.  Pearl, 
father  of  Mrs.  McKnight,  came  from  New 
York  to  Clinton  county  in  1837,  settling  in 
Ovid  township,  whence  he  afterward  removed 
to  Greenbush  township.  He  represented  this 
district  in  both  the  house  and  senate  of  the 
state  legislature  and  was  treasurer  of  his 
county  for  ten  years.  He  also  engaged  in 
merchandising  for  a  time  at  Grand  Ledge  and 
was  a  man  who  wielded  a  wide  influence  in 
public  thought  and  action,  while  his  record 
conferred  honor  and  dignity  on  the  county 
which  honored  him. 


Mr.  McKnight  holds  membership  in  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  church  and  in  the  Odd 
Fellows  lodge,  relations  which  indicate  the 
character  of  the  man  and  his  loyal  support  to 
principles  that  develop  along  lines  that  com- 
mand confidence,  good  will  and  honor  in  every 
land  and  clime.  He  is  not  an  active  partisan 
in  politics  but  for  two  years  he  served  as  town- 
ship treasurer  of  Greenbush. 


CHARLES  EDDY. 


Charles    Eddy,    who    has    been    associated 
with   business   interests   in   Elsie   for   twenty- 
seven  years,  has  intimate  knowledge  concern- 
ing the  history  of  the  state,  its  progress  and 
development,    for   he   has    resided    within    its 
borders  since  1856,  while  in  Clinton  county  he 
has   made  his  home  since   1878.      The  Eddy 
family  is  of  English  lineage  and  his  ancestors 
were  among  the  pilgrims  who  sought  refuge 
in  New  England,  crossing  the  Atlantic  on  the 
Handmaid,  a  historic  sailing  vessel  of  the  early 
part  of  the  seventeenth  century.    John  R.  Eddy, 
the  grandfather,  was  a  native  of  New  Eng- 
land and  removed  to  New  York,  locating  at 
Sacket    Harbor.      Reuben    Eddy,  the    father, 
was  born  in  Vermont  and  was  reared  in  the 
Empire   state,   where   he    remained    until   he 
sought  a  home  in  what  was  then  the  far  west. 
He  made  his  way  to  Ohio,  becoming  one  of  the 
first  settlers  of  Lorain  county.     He  was  there 
reared    and   married,    Miss    Anna    Seigsworth 
becoming    his    wife.     She    was    a    native    of 
England  and  when  eight  years  of  age  crossed 
the   Atlantic  to  the  new  world  with  her  par- 
ents, the  family  home  being  established  in  New 
York,  while  later  representatives  of  the  name 
went   to   Ohio.      Reuben   Eddy  opened   up   a 
farm  in  the  Buckeye  state  and  there  reared 
his   family,  his  remaining  days  being  passed 
upon  the  old  homestead,  which  he  had  trans- 
formed from  a  wild  tract  into  a  richly  culti- 
vated farm.    His  wife  survived  him  for  a  few 
years.     They  were  worthy  pioneer  people  of 
Ohio  and  took  an  active  and  helpful  part  in 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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reclaiming  their  portion  of  the  state  for  the 
uses  of  the  white  man.  In  their  family  were 
three  sons  and  one  daughter,  of  whom  Charles 
is  the  eldest.  John  is  still  living  in  Ohio,  while 
Luther  Eddy  is  now  a  resident  of  Elsie.  Ann- 
ette is  also  residing  in  Ohio. 

Charles  Eddy,  whose  name  introduces  this 
record,  was  the  first  white  child  born  in  Cam- 
den township,  Lorain  county,  Ohio,  his  natal 
day  being  December  18,  1835.  The  common 
schools  afforded  him  his  early  educational  priv- 
ileges and  he  afterward  attended  Oberlin  Col- 
lege, thus  acquiring  a  good  education.  He  pos- 
sesses natural  mechanical  talent  and  skill  and 
in  early  life  worked  at  the  carpenter's  and  join- 
er's trade.  Thinking  to  enjoy  better  business 
advantages  in  a  newer  district  of  the  middle 
west,  he  made  his  way  to  Michigan,  locating 
first  at  Fairfield,  Shiawassee  county,  where  he 
was  employed  in  a  repair  and  gun  shop,  mak- 
ing and  repairing  guns  and  doing  other  kinds 
of  mechanical  work.  He  continued  at  Fair- 
field for  several  years  and  in  1878  removed  to 
Elsie,  where  he  established  himself  in  busi- 
ness. Here  he  opened  a  stock  of  jewelry  and 
was  also  engaged  in  repairing  watches  and 
clocks.  He  remained  an  active  factor  in  the 
business  life  of  the  city  until  the  fall  of  1904 
and  belongs  to  that  class  of  representative 
men,  who,  while  promoting  individual  success, 
also  contribute  to  the  general  prosperity  and 
public  growth.  He  is  known  as  an  enterpris- 
ing merchant  and  a  man  of  keen  business  sa- 
gacity. He  purchased  land,  built  a  business 
house  and  residence  and  also  invested  in  two 
tracts  of  farm  land,  so  that  his  property  inter- 
ests became  extensive  and  valuable. 

Mr.  Eddy  was  married  in  Iowa  to  Miss 
Sarah  B.  Reynolds,  who  was  born  in  New 
York,  reared  in  Ohio  and  afterward  went  to 
Iowa.  There  is  one  daughter  by  this  mar- 
riage, Ida  J.,  now  the  wife  of  Frank  Clemens, 
a  farmer  of  Elsie.  Politically  Mr.  Eddy  is  a 
stanch  republican,  who  has  continuously  sup- 
ported the  men  and  measures  of  the  party 
since  casting  his  first  presidential  ballot  for 
Abraham  Lincoln  in  i860.  He  was  elected 
and  served  as  township  treasurer,  was  super- 


visor and  clerk  of  Fairfield  township,  Shiawas- 
see county,  and  was  elected  township  clerk  at 
Elsie,  in  which  capacity  he  served  for  several 
terms.  He  acted  for  fifteen  consecutive  years 
as  village  clerk,  for  four  years  as  deputy  sur- 
veyor and  as  county  surveyor  for  ten  years. 
His  capability  in  office  is  indicated  by  the  fact 
that  he  has  been  so  long  retained  in  the  posi- 
tions to  which  he  has  been  called.  He  is  well 
known  in  St.  Johns,  Elsie  and  Clinton  county 
as  a  man  of  wide  experience  and  excellent  busi- 
ness ability,  of  tried  integrity  and  worth,  and 
in  whatever  position  he  has  been  found  he  has 
proved  a  faithful  and  efficient  officer,  while 
in  business  life  his  activity  and  reliability  have 
been  numbered  among  his  strong  and  salient 
characteristics. 


JOHN  FREMONT  SKINNER. 

John  Fremont  Skinner,  living  on  section  21, 
Essex  township,  is  one  of  the  active  and  pros- 
perous farmers  of  his  locality,  his  possessions 
aggregating  two  hundred  and  forty  acres  in 
two  farms  in  addition  to  the  home  property  of 
eighty  acres,  which  is  a  well  improved  tract  of 
land.  Mr.  Skinner  is  one  of  the  native  sons  of 
the  county,  his  birth  having  occurred  in  Essex 
township  on  the  13th  of  June,  1856.  His 
father,  Horace  M.  Skinner,  was  a  native  of 
the  Green  Mountain  state,  born  in  Montpelier, 
Vermont,  in  1819.  .There  he  remained  until  he 
had  attained  his  majority  and  when  a  young 
man  came  westward  to  Michigan  with  an  elder 
brother,  arriving  in  this  state  about  1840.  He 
first  located  in  Eaton  county  and  later  in  Clin- 
ton county,  settling  in  Essex  township.  He 
was  married  here  to  a  widow,  Mrs.  Eliza  Ann 
North,  nee  Everett.  In  order  to  establish  a 
home  of  his  own  Mr.  Skinner  purchased  wild 
timber  land  in  Essex  township,  which  he  cleared 
and  improved,  developing  an  excellent  farm  of 
three  hundred  and  twenty  acres.  Subsequently 
he  bought  more  land  and  became  one  of  the 
prosperous  and  prominent  agriculturists  of  his 
community,  winning  success  in  his  business  un- 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


dertakings.  His  life  was  devoted  to  general 
agricultural  pursuits  and  upon  the  home  farm 
which  he  developed  he  reared  his  family  and 
made  his  home  until  called  to  his  final  rest, 
passing  away  on  the  5th  of  December,  1895. 
He  was  three  times  married. 

John  F.  Skinner  is  one  of  a  family  of  two 
sons  and  two  daughters  born  of  his  father's 
second  marriage.  He  remained  upon  the  old 
family  homestead  until  he  had  attained  his  ma- 
jority and  assisted  in  carrying  on  the  work  of 
the  farm.  He  then  located  on  the  farm  which 
he  now  makes  his  home  and  this  he  began  to 
clear  and  improve.  He  lived  in  a  log  house  for 
a  number  of  years  but  in  1902  erected  a  neat 
brick  residence,  which  is  one  of  the  attractive 
rural  homes  in  Clinton  county.  It  is  built  in 
modern  style  of  architecture,  supplied  with  fur- 
nace heat  and  equipped  with  other  modern 
conveniences.  Mr.  Skinner  with  three  sisters 
inherited  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  the 
old  home  farm  and  he  operates  that  tract  of 
land  in  connection  with  his  own  homestead 
He  makes  a  business  of  raising  Shropshire 
sheep  and  now  has  a  flock  of  ninety  ewes.  He 
also  has  two  pure  blooded  registered  rams.  To 
some  extent  he  engages  in  raising  horses  and 
all  of  his  stock  upon  his  farm  are  of  good 
grades. 

Mr.  Skinner  was  married  in  Ionia,  Michi- 
gan, August  5,  1880,  to  Miss  Maria  L.  Ryan, 
a  native  of  Massachusetts,  born  in  Milford, 
and  a  daughter  of  William  Ryan.  She  was 
reared  and  educated  at  St..  Johns,  where  her 
father  and  the  family  located  in  t86i.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Skinner  now  have  three  children : 
Bernice  N.,  Anita  F.  and  Carroll  J.  The  sec- 
ond daughter  is  the  wife  of  William  Smith, 
who  assists  Mr.  Skinner  in  carrying  on  the 
home  farm. 

Interested  in  community  affairs  Mr.  Skin- 
ner is  a  champion  of  progressive  measures  and 
has  done  much  to  aid  in  the  public  progress  and 
improvement  in  his  locality.  He  has  always 
voted  the  republican  ticket  since  casting  his 
first  presidential  ballot  for  Rutherford  B. 
Hayes  in  1876.  He  was  elected  and  served  for 
one  term  as  highway  commissioner,  but  never 


sought  or  cared  for  office.  He  is  an  exemplary 
representative  of  the  Masonic  fraternity,  hold- 
ing membership  in  the  lodge  at  Maple  Rapids, 
and  he  and  his  wife  belong  to  the  Eastern 
Star.  The  fact  that  many  of  his  stanchest 
friends  are  numbered  among  those  who  have 
known  him  from  his  boyhood  days  down  to  the 
present  is  an  indication  that  his  has  been  an 
active  and  honorable  career. 


ROBERT  B.  BURT. 


'Squire  Robert  B.  Burt,  living  on  section  15, 
Essex  township,  is  carrying  on  his  farm  work 
in  a  manner  that  indicates  his  thorough 
familiarity  with  all  departments  of  agricultural 
life  and  also  a  determined  purpose  that  has 
resulted  in  success  in  his  labors.  He  owns  one 
hundred  and  sixty  acres,  constituting  one  of 
the  good  farms  of  the  locality.  He  was  born 
in  Putnam  county,  New  York,  on  the  30th  of 
November,  1832,  a  son  of  Lewis  Burt,  a  native 
of  Connecticut,  in  which  state  he  was  reared. 
When  a  young  man,  however,  he  removed  to 
Putnam  county,  New  York,  where  he  was  mar- 
ried to  Miss  Rachel  Drew,  a  native  of  the  Em- 
pire state.  Mr.  Burt  was  a  carpenter  and  joiner 
by  trade,  following  that  pursuit  in  the  early 
years  of  his  manhood  but  later  he  turned  his 
attention  to  farming.  His  last  years  were 
passed  in  Yates  county,  New  York.  In  his 
family  wrere  four  sons  and  two  daughters,  of 
whom  Robert  B.  Burt  is  now  the  only  surviv- 
ing member.  He  removed  with  his  family  from 
Putnam  to  Yates  county,  New  York,  where  he 
was  reared,  attending  the  public  and  high 
schools  of  his  home  locality.  He  acquired  a 
good  academic  education  and  was  a  teacher 
through  six  winter  seasons  in  Yates  and  Tioga 
counties,  proving  a  capable  and  popular  edu- 
cator. 

On  the  28th  of  May,  1867,  m  Tioga  county, 
Squire  Burt  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss 
Lois  M.  Galpin,  a  native  of  the  Empire  state. 
He  then  followed  farming  and  also  engaged  in 
teaching  through  the  winter  seasons.     In  186S 


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ROBERT  B.  BURT. 


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he  removed  westward  to  Michigan,  located 
where  he  now  resides,  having  at  first  one  hun- 
dred acres  of  land,  of  which  thirty-five  acres 
have  been  cleared.  He  at  once  began  to  clear 
and  cultivate  the  remainder,  grub  out  the 
stumps,  cut  away  the  brush  and  in  course  of 
time  transformed  the  tract  into  productive 
fields.  Some  years  later  he  added  more  land 
and  as  his  financial  resources  have  permitted  he 
has  continued  the  improvement  of  the  property, 
building  a  good  residence  and  barns  and  adding 
all  modern  equipments  found  upon  a  model 
farm  of  the  twentieth  century.  He  is  a  prac- 
tical mechanic  and  did  most  of  the  building 
himself.  He  has  planted  some  fruit  upon  his 
place  and  his  farm  work  has  been  carefully  con- 
ducted and  managed  so  that  his  efforts  have 
been  a  source  of  gratifying  income. 

In  1893  Squire  Burt  was  called  upon  to 
mourn  the  loss  of  his  wife,  who  died  on  the 
4th  of  April  of  that  year,  leaving  two  children : 
Edwin,  who  is  married  and  lives  upon  a  part 
of  the  home  farm  and  has  two  children,  Flor- 
ence and  Edna.  The  daughter,  Ida  Burt,  be- 
came the  wife  of  Deloss  Hicks,  a  farmer  of 
this  township,  and  has  two  sons,  Robert  and 
Leon.  On  October  11,  1900,  Mr.  Burt  was 
again  married  in  Tioga  county,  his  second  union 
being  with  Miss  Lucy  B.  Manning,  who  was 
born  and  reared  in  New  York  and  was  a  teacher 
before  her  marriage. 

Squire  Burt  is  prominent  in  community  af- 
fairs and  his  efforts  have  been  of  practical 
value  along  many  lines  of  progress.  In  politics 
he  is  a  republican  where  national  issues  are 
involved  but  at  local  elections  votes  independ- 
ently, supporting  the  best  men.  He  has  been 
elected  and  served  for  twelve  conseeutive  years 
as  justice  of  the  peace,  was  also  school  inspector 
one  term,  drain  commissioner  for  eleven  years 
and  for  many  years  school  director.  He  has 
also  served  as  treasurer  and  assessor  and  in  all 
positions  of  honor  and  trust  that  have  been 
conferred  upon  him  has  discharged  his  duties 
with  a  promptness  and  fidelity  that  have  won 
him  high  encomiums  from  his  fellow  townsmen. 
His  interest  in  the  walfare  and  progress  of  the 
community  is  deep  and  sincere  and  his  loyalty 


to  the  general  good  is  above  question.  He  is 
therefore  justly  numbered  among  the  public- 
spirited  citizens  and  is  well  classed  with  the 
progressive  farmers  of  Essex  township. 


WILLIAM  J.  DAGGETT. 

William  J.  Daggett,  proprietor  of  the  first 
foundry  of  St.  Johns,  which  he  is  conducting 
under  the  name  of  the  St.  Johns  Iron  Works, 
is  a  representative  business  man  of  Clinton 
county,  enterprising  and  watchful  of  indica- 
tions pointing  to  success.  Through  his  utiliza- 
tion of  opportunity  and  the  development  and 
exercise  of  his  native  talents  and  energies  he 
has  won  a  creditable  position  in  industrial  cir- 
cles. He  was  born  in  Eagle  township,  Wyo- 
ming county,  New  York,  May  27, 1853, his  par- 
ents being  Reuben  E.  and  Mary  A.  (Wright) 
Daggett,  both  of  whom  were  natives  of  the 
Empire  state.  The  wife  and  mother  died, 
however,  when  her  son  William  J.  was  but  two 
years  of  age  and  in  1856  Reuben  E.  Daggett 
removed  from  New  York  to  Clinton  county, 
settling  in  Greenbush  township,  where  he  pur- 
chased a  farm  of  eighty  acres  and  with  the  ex- 
ception of  a  brief  period  spent  in  Dallas  town- 
ship he  remained  a  resident  of  the  former 
township  up  to  the  time  of  his  demise,  which 
occurred  on  the  16th  of  April,  1903,  when  he 
was  seventy-five  years  of  age.  Reuben  E. 
Daggett  had  three  brothers  and  one,  George 
W.  Daggett,  is  now  living  in  Gratiot  county, 
Michigan.  The  others,  Charles  S.  and  Loren 
L.,  are  both  deceased.  William  J.  Daggett  is 
one  of  a  family  of  four  children :  Edward  W., 
who  is  living  in  Duplain  township;  Mary  E., 
the  wife  of  John  Prentice,  of  Pbntiac,  Michi- 
gan, and  William  J.  and  James  W.,  twins.  The 
latter  is  now  engaged  in  farming  in  Greenbush 
township. 

William  J.  Daggett,  brought  to  the  west 
when  about  three  years  of  age,  has  spent 
almost  his  entire  life  in  Michigan.  His  edu- 
cation was  acquired  in  the  district  schools  and 
when  twenty  years  of  age  he  began  farming  on 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


his  own  account  in  Dallas  township,  where  he 
remained  for  four  years.    He  then  purchased  a 
farm  in  Washington  township,  Gratiot  county 
Michigan,   which  he  improved  and  cultivated 
for  twenty-one  years.     In  his  agricultural  pur- 
suits he  wTon  a  fair  measure  of  success,  care- 
fully cultivating  his  fields  and  carrying  on  the 
work  of  the  farm,  so  that  year  after  year  his 
capital  was  increased.     In  the  spring  of  1900 
he  came  to  St.  Johns  and  purchased  a  half  in- 
terest in  the  St.  Johns  Iron  Works  of  George 
F.  Cross,  thus  entering  into  partnership  with 
George  Weller.     Mr.  Daggett  was  made  presi- 
dent of  the  company  and  after  Mr.  Weller's 
death  he  purchased  his  interest  in  the  business, 
becoming  sole  owner  in  January,    1902.      He 
has  since  conducted    the    industry    under    the 
name  of  the  St.  Johns  Iron  Works.     This  was 
the  first  foundry  of  the  city  and  has  been  in 
operation  for  more  than  forty  years.   Through- 
out his  entire  life  Mr.  Daggett  has  displayed 
exceptional  mechanical  ingenuity  and  is  the  in- 
ventor and  patentee  of  W.  J.  Daggett's  pat- 
ented double  expansion  cast  iron  boat  culverts, 
varying  in  size  from  ten  to  forty-eight  inches 
and  costing  from  ninety  cents  to  eight  dollars 
per  foot.    This  has  been  patented  to  cover  both 
the  United  States  and  Canada.     Among  the 
numerous  articles  manufactured  in  the  foundry 
are  snow  plow  rollers  six  and  a  half  feet  in 
diameter  which  sweeps  the  snow  for  a  width 
of  sixteen  feet.     The  output  of  the   foundry 
also  includes  small  rollers  and  stone  boats  and 
the  business  is  now  large  and  profitable,   the 
plant  being  equipped  with  the  latest  improved 
machinery  to  facilitate  the  work  which  is  car- 
ried on  along  progressive  business  lines. 

Politically  Mr.  Daggett  is  a  democrat  and 
is  a  liberal-minded  citizen  whose  aid  and  co- 
operation can  be  counted  upon  to  further 
progressive  measures  for  the  general  good. 
His  interest  centers  in  his  family,  he  being  a 
man  of  strong  domestic  tastes.  In  1877  he 
was  married  to  Miss  Nettie  Ridneour,  a  daugh- 
ter of  David  Ridneour,  of  Bengal  township, 
Clinton  county,  and  they  have  become  the  par- 
ents of  thirteen  children,  of  whom  three  died  in 
early  youth,  while  ten  are  yet  living,  namely: 


Elva,  A.,  the  wife  of  Merton  Terry,  of  St. 
Johns;  Floyd  E.,  who  married  Nellie  Holmes, 
of  Ypsilanti,  Michigan ;  Herman  and  Herbert, 
twins;  Jay,  Netia,  Merrett,  Ruby,  Lewis  and 
Nettie  Arlene,  all  of  whom  are  at  home.  The 
various  members  of  the  family  occupy  an  en- 
viable position  in  the  social  circles  in  which 
they  move  and  during  their  residence  in  the 
city  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Daggett  have  gained  warm 
friends  here. 


CHARLES  F.   CRELL. 

Charles  F.  Crell,  who  is  engaged  in  taking 
contracts  for  building  cement  and  steel  bridges, 
makes  his  home  in  Elsie,  and  is  an  enterprising 
and  prominent  business  man  of  Clinton 
county,  wherein  he  has  made  his  home  since 
1879.  He  is  a  native  of  New  York,  having 
been  born  in  Rensselaer  county,  on  the  nth  of 
June,  i860.  His  father,  William  Crell,  was  a 
native  of  Germany,  in  which  country  he  grew 
to  mature  years,  and  when  a  young  man  emi- 
grated to  the  United  States,  locating  in 
Rensselaer  county,  New  York,  where  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Mary  Nolan,  a  native  of  Ire- 
land. Mr.  Crell  was  a  stonemason  by  trade 
and  followed  that  business  during  his  active 
business  life.  In  1881  he  removed  westward  to 
Michigan  and  located  in  St.  Johns. 

Charles  F.  Crell  of  this  review  was  reared  to 
manhood  in  the  Empire  state  and  acquired  his 
education  in  the  common  schools.  He  came 
west  to  Michigan  in  1879  and  began  working 
on  a  farm  by  the  month,  being  thus  employed 
for  five  years.  Following  hi^  marriage,  in 
1883,  he  located  on  a 'farm  north  of  St.  Johns, 
where  he  made  his  home  for  a  year,  removing 
on  the  expiration  of  that  period  to  Duplain 
township,  where  he  bought  a  farm  which  he 
still  owns.  He  was  successfully  engaged  in 
agricultural  pursuits  there  for  eighteen  years 
and  now  owns  one  hundred  and  seventy  acres 
of  land  in  two  farms,  both  of  which  are  well 
improved.  His  life  has  been  characterized  by 
unflagging  industry  and  perseverance  and  his 


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PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    CLINTON    COUNTY. 


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efforts  have  been  crowned  with  the  success  that 
alwavs  follows  earnest  labor. 

Mr.  Crell  was  first  married  in  Washtenaw 
county,  Michigan,  on  the  7th  of  February, 
1883,  the  lady  of  his  choice  being-  Miss  Melissa 
Van  Duyne,  a  daughter  of  John  Van  Duyne, 
an  early  settler  of  Clinton  county.  There  were 
two  children  by  that  union.  Subsequently  Mr. 
Crell  was  married  in  Duplain  township  to  Miss 
Alice  Bond,  who  was  born,  reared  and  edu- 
cated in  Clinton  county  and  is  a  daughter  of 
Stephen  Bond,  one  of  the  early  settlers  here. 
The  children  of  his  first  marriage  are  Elsie  M. 
and  Ralph  W.  Crell,  and  by  the  second  mar- 
riage there  is  one  son,  Harrison  B.  Crell. 

In  the  vear  1902  Mr.  Crell  removed  to  Elsie, 
where  he  bought  a  lot  and  built  a  neat  resi- 
dence, where  he  has  since  resided.  Politically 
he  is  identified  with  the  republican  party  and 
has  taken  quite  an  active  interest  in  its  work, 
especially  in  behalf  of  its  local  successes.  He 
was  elected  commissioner  of  highways  and  by 
re-election  served  for  two  terms.  During  his 
incumbency  in  the  office  he  began  building 
concrete  bridges  and  made  a  specialty  of  this 
kind  of  work.  He  later  organized  a  company 
for  the  construction  of  concrete  bridges  and 
has  now  built  up  an  extensive  business,  em- 
ploying at  the  present  time  three  different 
forces  of  men,  having  thirty-five  men  in  his 
service  altogether.  Some  of  the  bridges  built 
by  them  in  the  past  year  (1905)  are  fifty- 
foot  spans.  They  have  built  bridges  in  Clinton, 
Gratiot  and  adjoining  counties  and  have